Although home security equipment seller Your Local Security released a list of the safest communities for Trick or Treaters in the U.S., putting the Mankato-North Mankato area at number two, the Mankato Department of Public Safety said following common-sense Halloween safety tips is still important.

Commander Dan Schisel suggests kids stay in familiar neighborhoods and, “Travel in groups. We encourage children to go out, if they are very young, with their parents or an adult – someone that’s old enough to supervise them. We encourage them to cross at intersections, so not cross in the middle of the streets.”

As for drivers, Schisel asks them to put aside any distractions, pay close attention to what’s happening around them, “And if they are in a residential area to slow down with their traffic.”

Schisel added that the midweek holiday this year means it’s likely a little more safe. “If Halloween is on a weekend, Friday or Saturday night, I think the calls increase. When it’s during the week like this you’ll get probably less calls for service.”

YLS said the best-performing cities had fewer pedestrian collision deaths, low violent crime, and are home to fewer sex offenders. Only Lincoln, Nebraska ranked higher than Mankato in the top 10 list.

Further safety tips provided by the City of Mankato:

  • Trick-or-treat in a familiar neighborhood, go with friends, stay with the group and on the sidewalk.
  • Cross only at corners and not.between parked cars or in the middle of the block.
  • If children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • For safety, avoid costumes with billowing or long trailing fabric.
  • If making a costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
  • Ensure mask holes are large enough so the person wearing the mask can see clearly.
  • Use flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part a costume.
  • Use extreme caution if real candles are used. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If candles are used inside jack-o-lanterns, it’s recommended to use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Remind children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if clothing catches fire. It’s recommended to have them practice stop, drop and roll.
  • Drivers are asked to use extra caution in residential areas when driving on Halloween evening because children frequently cross the street and may not be looking for vehicles.