ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York

County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Message from Sheriff Timothy B. Howard

A Message from Sheriff Tim Howard

Erie County Sheriff’s Halloween safety tips

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman issued Halloween safety tips today for parents, grandparents, guardians and trick-or-treaters.

Undersheriff Wipperman said, “Halloween is a great time and it’s great to see the kids all dressed up in their costumes.  I want the kid’s memories to be about the candy and costumes, not about the night the spent in the hospital.”

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the National Safety Council, is issuing these Halloween tips:

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • All motorists need to be especially alert and cautious when driving on Halloween because of the high number of pedestrians walking the streets.
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways carefully.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.


***Most importantly, all children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult, but before trick-or-treating, parents should:

  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home.
  • Agree on a specific time for your children to come home.
  • Give your children flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see and for others to see them.
  • Make sure your child or a responsible adult with them carries a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

Children will be anxious to stuff themselves with treats, but parents need to take these necessary precautions first:

  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten, then examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your children eat them.
  • Only let your children eat factory-wrapped treats, void homemade treats.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.


  • When making or purchasing Halloween costumes follow these safety precautions to ensure you children remain safe and still look great:
  • All costumes and accessories should be fireproof.
  • Use reflective tape on the kids’ costumes and bags.
  • Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or Flexible materials.  Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
  • Wear well-fitting costumes to avoid trips and falls.

Falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween!

The Sheriff’s Office wishes everyone a safe and fun Halloween.