‘Tis the season to be scary . . . fa, la, la, la, la, la, la . . .
Halloween has become as festive as Christmas with string of lights, blow up decorations, animated displays, fog machines, and other electric-powered decorations. Any and all create a scare-worthy porch or yard for any trick-or-treaters that dare to ring the doorbell. But like Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations can be a source of dangers that could spoil the holiday that is suppose to be fun. Remember a safe celebration is the best celebration.
So as Halloween decorating approaches, here’s some safety tips from Safe Electricity to make sure Halloween is safe and fun for all:
- Carefully inspect decorations that have been stored for cracking, fraying or bare wires. Do not use if any of these problems are found as they may cause a shock or start a fire.
- When replacing or purchasing decorations or cords, make sure they are Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved and marked for outdoor use.
- Unless specifically indicated, keep electrical decorations out of water or wet areas.
- Be mindful of extension cords. They should not run through water on the ground. Use only cords rated for outdoor use.
- Don’t overload plugs or extension cords. Be sure to use a big enough gauge extension cord to handle the decoration wattage without getting hot.
- Use insulated staples to hold strings of lights or cords in place. Fasten securely.
- Plug outdoor lights and decorations into GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupters).
- Keep cords away from walkways or anyplace where they may be a potential tripping hazard or entanglement hazard for pets.
- Consider using a timer to have decorations or lights on for a specified amount of time. Turn them off while away from the home and before going to bed.
By following basic electrical safety guidelines, you will avoid real scares or dangerous tricks and keep Halloween a fun and safe event. Get more safety tips at SafeElectricity.org.