Police offer Halloween safety tips

The Greenwich Police Department is offering safety tips for families this Halloween.

Chief of Police James Heavey is requesting the cooperation of businesses and residents in Greenwich to leave lights on during the Halloween period, which will be on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Chief Heavey suggested outside lights being left on these two evenings as a deterrent to vandalism and safety. The GPD was quick to warn that anyone involved in criminal mischief will be promptly arrested and parents may be held responsible for any damage done by their children.

Chief Heavey also requested parents accompany their younger children while Trick-or-Treating and recommends terminating at 8 p.m. for this age group. Several toy manufacturers now make flashlights just for Halloween that can also provide a safety boost.

The GPD reminded motorists, parents and children of the following safety guidelines.

Motorists should slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic laws and exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle. They need to be on the alert for excited youngsters darting out in traffic whose vision may be obscured by masks and enter and exit driveways with caution. Drivers should not wear a mask or a costume that makes it difficult to move your arms and legs while driving and if they are driving children around the neighborhood, make sure they enter and exit the car on the curbside.

Additionally for more “adult” parties, they should make sure there is a designated driver.

For parents they are urged to use costumes for children with light or bright colored material and trim and check to see that the costume does not interfere with walking. The GPD also said parents should encourage children to use face paint and/or make-up rather than hoods, wigs or masks that can block vision. They also must make sure to teach children not to cut across yards, not accept rides from strangers, check all treats before the children eat the candy and other Halloween goodies, discard any homemade or unwrapped treats and restrict Trick or Treat visits to homes with porch or outside lights on.

Children are advised to not go into strangers’ homes and parents should give children a flashlight and fresh batteries so they can see and be seen. Children should Trick or Treat in groups, not alone. An adult should accompany children and set a time limit for your children to Trick or Treat. Designate a specific route for them to take.

Children should obey all pedestrian safety laws: wait for green lights, walk, never run into the street, look left, right then left again before entering the street traffic. Cross only at street corners and never between parked cars.

People are also urged to report any suspicious or criminal activity to the GPD immediately.

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