Halloween is a fun-filled time in which we can pretend to be someone or something else and enjoy candy and sweets while we do it. What we sometimes don’t realize is that Halloween celebrations can also be very dangerous, with many risks to your safety. While the Halloween safety tips that college students should utilize are different from those of young children, there are still safety measures that they should abide by to ensure a safe holiday.  

The IUP Emergency Management Office would like to offer the following Halloween safety tips to ensure everyone has a fun and safe Halloween.

IUP Students:

  • A Halloween safety tip of prime importance for college students is to never allow or invite strangers into your dorm or apartment.

  • Avoid areas that are not well lit, and try to walk in high-traffic areas.

  • Travel in groups as much as possible. If you must travel alone, let a trusted friend or family member know where you are. If you don’t feel safe, please use the university escort service. You can call University Police at 724-357-2141, and an officer will meet you at your on-campus location to walk with you to your on-campus destination. 

  • Keep your cell phone handy in case you get separated from your group or need to contact emergency services.

  • If you are going to a party venue, familiarize yourself with the exits when you arrive so that you are prepared if an emergency evacuation occurs.

  • While you and your friends may have coordinated costumes, strangers may not be as knowledgeable about your costume and its accompanying props. Don’t carry fake weapons. Not only do you want to avoid scaring those around you, but you also want to avoid alarming the police.

  • Watch your drink. If you’re going to drink, do so responsibly. Never accept a beverage from someone you don’t know.

  • Don’t drink and drive.

Parents and Trick-or-Treaters

  • Watch for children in the street and on medians when driving.

  • Prepare your home for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks.

  • Establish a curfew for your children.

  • When leaving the house, make sure to lock your doors.

  • Go only to well-lit houses, remain on porches rather than entering houses, and stay in familiar neighborhoods.

  • Travel in groups, and be accompanied by an adult.

  • If possible, carry a cell phone for emergencies—know how to call 911.

  • Walk, don’t run; look both ways (cross only in crosswalks); and obey all traffic signals.

  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground, and make sure your costume or mask does not obstruct your vision.

Some safer options to celebrate Halloween include:

  • Carve and decorate pumpkins.

  • Plan an outdoor scavenger hunt looking for Halloween-themed items.

  • Watch a Halloween-themed movie.

  • Decorate a Halloween-themed cake or cookies.

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!