MILLBURN, NJ - As the Millburn Fire Department prepares for its annual Halloween Festival on October 31, they are partnering with other Township emergency responders in reminding families to be careful and alert while trick-or-treating.

According to Safe Kids USA, children are twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other night. In addition to a increase in the amount of children walking the streets, there is also a notable increase in the amount of drunken driving incidents.

The Department has several recommendations to safeguard residents this Halloween:

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  • Remember that on Halloween, children are more excited and inattentive than usual.
  • Take extra precautions when crossing streets. Don't assume that drivers can see you, especially as the sun is setting, when it's harder for drivers to see.
  • Cross at crosswalks and street corners. Warn children of the dangers of darting into the street and crossing between parked cars.
  • Avoid dark costumes. Carry light sticks and flashlights, and use reflective tape to make costumes more visible.
  • When possible, opt for face paint instead of bulky masks that can obscure children's vision.
  • Use sidewalks and pedestrian paths. In neighborhoods without sidewalks, consider participating in "Trunk or Treat" events in lieu of going door to door.
  • While driving, be vigilant and alert. Drive slowly through residential areas and avoid distractions such as mobile phones.
  • If you are attending a gathering, drink responsibly, and make alternate transportation plans when necessary. No amount of alcohol is considered safe for driving.

"Halloween is a fun and festive time for children and their families, and we want everyone to enjoy themselves," said Millburn Fire Chief Robert Echavarria.  "But it's important for both pedestrians and drivers to remember that getting home safely should be everyone's top priority."

On Halloween, the Fire Department will host its annual Halloween Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the rear parking lot behind the Department's Essex Street headquarters. Participants will enjoy hot dogs, pony rides, and a bouncy house. Complimentary donuts and cider will be served. For more information, contact Nicole Verducci, at nverducci@millburntwp.org.