Safety officials offer advice on handling Halloween

Kevin Gareau

Halloween weekend is one of the busiest weekends in Kent, and students should make sure they are safe, said crime prevention officer Alice Ickes.

Ickes said the No. 1 way students can be safe is to stay sober.

“When you’re sober, you make better decisions, and you stay more alert and cautious,” Ickes said.

She said if students are drinking, moderation is very important.

“One drink is a 12-ounce beer or a four-ounce shot,” Ickes said. “A rule of thumb is your system can only absorb one drink per hour. Your risks increase by how much you exceed that by.”

Ickes said students need to look out for themselves and their friends.

“There’s such a risk of alcohol poisoning,” Ickes said. “We see people drinking a lot and not eating anything. The drinks hit you a lot harder that way.”

She said students should make sure anyone who shows signs of alcohol poisoning gets medical attention immediately.

John Peach, Kent State police chief, said students should go out in groups and stay with those groups.

“Rely on a friend to help guide you, especially if you’re going to be drinking,” Peach said. “It’s better not to walk around by yourself.”

Ickes said students in the residence halls need to protect their possessions.

“The saying we always have is ‘close it and lock it,'” Ickes said. “There are a lot of visitors on campus and thefts can happen.”

Security manager Brian Hellwig said Campus Security will be on the lookout for thefts.

“Students tend to leave their doors open when they’re not in the room, which creates a crime of opportunity,” Hellwig said. “Students should make sure their doors are closed and locked.”

Ickes said students should try to avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations.

“One of the big concerns is when you see someone acting foolish, get yourself out of there,” Ickes said.

She said students should make sure none of their friends get left behind.

“If you go downtown with someone, make sure your leave with them,” Ickes said.

Peach said students are also in danger of being assaulted.

“Many times people become victims because they’re drunk,” Peach said. “That’s why you’ve got to be with friends.”

Kent Police Capt. Michelle Lee said students should be on the lookout for suspicious people.

“Be cautious of those people who are dressed as though they have anonymity,” Lee said. “They tend to think they can get away with more.”

Lee said students should make sure their costumes don’t restrict their breathing or sight, and enable them to stay warm.

Peach said students should be careful when crossing the street, as drivers often can’t see people wearing dark costumes.

Ickes said the most important thing to remember during Halloween weekend is common sense.

“It’s kind of like the book Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” Ickes said. “The rules in there apply to this weekend.”

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning:

-Person is unconscious or semiconscious and cannot be awakened.

-Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin.

-Check to see if breathing is slow, less than eight times per minute, or irregular, with ten seconds or more between breaths.

-Vomiting while “sleeping” or passed out, and not waking up after vomiting.

Source: Alice Ickes, Kent State Police Department.