Tips for Halloween safety

The National Fire Protection Association is calling on parents and adults to do their part in preventing a tragedy during Halloween festivities this year, and use care when lighting jack-o-lanterns and creating costumes. According to the NFPA, Halloween ranks fifth behind several other holidays as the most likely day for a fire to be caused by candles.

The national organization recommends purchasing costumes, wigs and props labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Flashlights are safer than candles in illuminating carved pumpkins and children should be instructed on the stop, drop and roll technique should their costumes catch fire, the NFPA suggested in a written statement.

Forest Park’s sanctioned trick-or-treating hours are from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Gift of warmth

Between Oct. 1 and March 1, donations of winter coats will be distributed to area children through the One Coat, One Child program. Each week, children between the ages of 5 and 12 who live in low-income communities and shelters will receive the coats, along with hats and gloves that have also been donated. The One Coat, One Child program is organized by Anita Norman of Forest Park who started the charity three years ago after watching an elementary school student walk to school in the cold wearing only a T-shirt.

To contact Norman for additional information or to donate a winter jacket, e-mail her at

Shelter opens new facility

West Suburban PADS, a service provider and temporary shelter for the homeless, is hosting an open house event at its new location in Maywood. Organizers of the non-profit group have been planning the move for some time and are in their new facility at 1851 S. 9th Ave. The public is invited to tour the building from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 13.

PADS moved to its Maywood location from Forest Park.

Renovation plans for the building’s lower level will be on display during the open house. PADS administrators expect to open an expanded daytime support center once the renovation work is complete, according to a written statement.

Refreshments will be served at the event. For more information or to RSVP, contact Wendy Epstein at (708) 338-1724 ext. 262.