Halloween is a seriously fun time of year. All the dressed up kids racing house to house for free candy, getting into minor (or major) decoration contests with the neighbors, and the fun alive feeling in the air, despite all the skeletons. But with that much activity around your home, taking precautions to keep you and your home safe this Halloween is just as important as keeping the candy bowl filled.
Be Aware of Dangers that Might Not be Visible During the Night
- Walk your property before Halloween to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
- Make sure walking surfaces are even and clear of debris, and that any obstacles are clearly marked, such as stakes, exposed roots or holes.
- Ensure that your front yard, walkway and entry way are well-lit so that those unfamiliar with your home can safely navigate. If using a fog machine, be careful that the fog does not make it difficult to see tripping hazards.
Be Smart about Where You Place Decorations
- Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
- When plugging in your scary indoor decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid damage to your home or injury to your guests. For example, make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.
Set Up Spooky Lighting with Caution
- Avoid any kind of open flame.
- Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.
- Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.
Choose Decorations Wisely
- Avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crêpe paper because they are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety – look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL or another nationally-recognized laboratory.
- When plugging in decorations, avoid daisy chaining extension cords, which may cause overheating.
- Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.
- Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to help reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.
Stay safe this Halloween!
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