It might not be as fun as choosing the perfect costume or candy, but reviewing safety practices for Halloween is just as important, first responders say.
After all, Beaufort County neighborhoods will have enough lights and action without a visit from the fire department Friday night.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office reminds people to abide by the rules of the road for pedestrians, especially in light of the deaths of three pedestrians on U.S. 278 in just more than a month.
On Saturday morning, a jogger was killed on Hilton Head Island when he ran out in front of a car that had a green light, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. Pedestrians do not have the right of way outside of marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Pedestrians are also prohibited from crossing the road between two intersections or walking or running in front of a car when it's too close.
"While drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclist, that does not translate to mean that a pedestrian (or) bicyclist always has the right of way," Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.
Officers also suggest people consider the distance between themselves and moving vehicles and whether drivers' views are blocked by trees, glare from the sun or other motorists.
Families should also take care when decorating and dressing for the holiday.
The Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department suggests parents avoid blocking exits with decorations or using highly flammable materials, like cornstalks, dried flowers and crepe paper.
Decorations are the first things to ignite in about 1,000 home fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Flashlights and other battery-operated lights are safer choices than candles, but if parents decide to use the real thing, they should light the candles with a utility lighter or long, fireplace-style matches and keep flames well out of the way of trick-or-treaters, pets and children.
"On Halloween and also on Christmas, it's easy for parents to get distracted by all the excitement of the children," fire Capt. John Robinson said. "When that happens, the adults sometimes forget the basic fire safety rules, and that's how tragedies start."
Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.
- Identity released of jogger, 73, killed by car on Hilton Head Island, October 25, 2014