It’s a time for crazy costumes and candy galore, but it’s not a time for your youngsters to go it alone or wear dark costumes lacking reflective material.

To safeguard the Halloween safety spirit, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni’s provost marshal office created a safety campaign called Operation BROOM — Base Reign Over Our Munchkins.

“It’s overall Halloween safety,” said Sgt. Elizabeth A. Lopez, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Community Resources Section of the PMO.

Under Operation BROOM, military police officers will patrol neighborhoods on Halloween night, helping if any children get lost, checking candy at three locations and handing our their own goodies and safety brochures.

Lopez said in addition to the station’s own trick-or-treaters, a few hundred more are expected to join from off base as guests.

Status of Forces Agreement personnel are allowed to invite up to 10 guests, and Japanese Master Labor Contract employees are permitted to bring their own families.

Last year about 200 guests came on base for trick-or-treating, Lopez said.

To ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters, the Freedom Bridge to the Monzen housing area will be closed to vehicles.

The PMO also offered several safety recommendations to residents, including that any lit jack-o-lanterns should be placed far from entryways to allow large groups to approach safely.

The PMO also warned that residents should not hand out candy from vehicles, or if they are drinking alcohol.

Here are the hours approved for trick-or-treating Tuesday at bases in Japan:

Camp Zama — 6-8 p.m.Yokota Air Base — 6:30-7:45 p.m. (Hours for visitors to be signed on base for trick-or-treating. Base had not decided on official trick-or-treating hours as of Wednesday.)Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni — 5-7 p.m.Yokosuka Naval Base — 5:30-8:30 p.m.Sasebo Naval Base — 5-7 p.m.Naval Air Facility Atsugi — 5:30-8 p.m. (guests can be brought on base between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.)Misawa Air Base — 6-8 p.m.Tips for trick-or-treaters

¶Stay in familiar neighborhoods and on sidewalks (If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic).¶Stay in groups, or with a friend or parent — children at most bases cannot trick or treat alone.¶Avoid any pets or animals, even ones that are tied up.¶Walk, don’t run, and look both ways before crossing streets.¶Carry a flashlight or chemlight.¶Never enter a house or garage.¶Approach only houses that have the porch light on.¶Don’t litter.

Tips for parents

¶Ensure costumes are flame retardant, don’t drag and have reflective material. Make sure masks don’t obstruct vision.¶Accompany and watch children at all times.¶Designate a meeting place in case you get separated.¶Inspect all candy that children bring home.

Tips for residents

¶Remove water hoses, flowerpots, leashes or obstacles from yards.¶Leave porch lights on while you are giving out candy, to illuminate walkways and to signal you’re willing to accept trick-or-treaters.¶Keep candlelit pumpkins a safe distance from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.¶Keep pets away from where the children may travel.

Source: Provost marshal offices at bases across Japan

— Juliana Gittler

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