Candles in Pumpkins Banned in the State of Illinois?
Halloween weekend is upon us, and many people will be carving pumpkins to create jack-o'-lanterns if they haven't already done so. Traditionally, most people illuminate their pumpkins with a small candle to give them that spooky and exciting effect. But is it against the law in Illinois to use a candle to illuminate your jack-o-lantern?
What's Your Problem With Candles, Illinois?
Candles equal flames and that's where the issue comes to fruition.
When putting up Halloween and Fall decorations, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants you to keep fire safety tips in mind. Pumpkins that are illuminated with candles are a decoration and a decoration that has a flame is a dangerous one.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that decorations were the first thing to ignite in roughly 900 reported home fires each year. The NFPA says,
"More than two of every five of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment."
See why Illinois doesn't like candles?
But I Need My Pumpkin To Look Cool!
That's a good point but it isn't worth burning your house down or dying over.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal has an alternative to help light up your jack-o-lantern so that one flame from a pumpkin candle doesn't set your home ablaze:
- Use battery-operated candles
If for some reason you have to use a real candle, these are a few things the OSFM recommends so you don't light anything else on fire:
- Make sure to use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter
- Place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn
- Keep lit pumpkins far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards
- Keep and tell children to stay away from open flames including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them
Those are all common sense things we have to remind people about.
Is It Illegal To Use A Candle In My Pumpkin In Illinois?
No, candles in pumpkins aren't illegal in Illinois.
But if you're still using real candles to illuminate jack-o-lanterns, get with the times. You can buy those cheap battery-powered ones for next to nothing and you don't have to buy new ones every year.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal has a few more jack-o-lantern safety tips for you this Halloween that applies to both Illinois and Iowa:
- When choosing costumes make sure to stay away from long trailing fabric
- Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes
- Always check smoke alarms to make sure they are working
- Dried cornstalks, dried flowers, and paper decorations catch fire easily, make sure to keep any open flames and heat sources, such as light bulbs, at a safe distance
Be careful carving and lighting pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and celebrating Halloween 2022!
Happy Halloween, Quad Cities!