As we get closer to Halloween, parents are helping kids in Illinois carve Jack-o'-lanterns. Most people display their creations on their front steps or porch for the entire neighborhood to see, but others aren't as smart.

Whether you put your Jack-o'-lantern outside or inside, there is one smart thing we all can do to make them glow. If you use the traditional method and smell burning fruit inside or outside your home, you need to leave immediately and call for help.

attachment-House Fire

Burning Fruit During Halloween Is A Really Bad Smell

Anything that's burning is a bad smell, but burning fruit during Halloween means really one thing: a pumpkin is on fire.

We all know that pumpkin is a fruit and most people use pumpkins during Halloween to turn them into Jack-o'-lanterns. The traditional way to display a Jack-o'-lantern is with a candle but that is extremely dangerous.


When putting up Halloween and Fall decorations, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal wants you to keep fire safety tips in mind. Pumpkins that are illuminated with candles and a Jack-o'-lantern that has a flame is a dangerous one.

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The National Fire Protection Association 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."

That includes lights that can get too hot.

Are Real Candles In Pumpkins Illegal 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.

Fake Candle

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

You can buy those cheap battery-powered ones for next to nothing and you don't have to buy new ones every year.

If you insist on using real candles, the OSFM has recommendations for you so you don't light anything else on fire.

Halloween Safety Tips You Need To Follow

Besides Jack-o'-lantern safety tips, Illinois officials have a few more Halloween safety tips.

Group of people on broom and halloween witch costume.
Gennadiy Poznyakov

These tips also help with not starting your home or yourself on fire. Yes, these apply to both residents in 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 2023!

Quad Cities Haunted Houses

Spooky season is here Quad Cities! Haunted houses are open and we know you want to get your scare on. We have the full list of Quad City haunted houses you need to visit before Halloween.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney/Townsquare Media Quad Cities

Quad Cities Pumpkin Patches

It's pumpkin pickin' time in the Quad Cities. Pumpkins make great fall decorations and they are obviously fun to carve. If buying a pumpkin at a store doesn't cut it and you want the full experience of a pumpkin patch, we have the full list of pumpkin patches throughout the Quad Cities. If we are missing any local pumpkin patches, email us here.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney/Townsquare Media Quad Cities

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