Halloween is spooky fun for kids and adults alike, but the last thing anyone wants on the holiday is an actual horror story. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your little trick-or-treaters are safe around electricity while celebrating All Hallows Eve.
Inspect electrical decorations and extension cords before use.
Do you see any exposed wiring? Is the cord nicked, cracked or frayed? If so, you are looking at a shock hazard, and potentially a fire hazard.
Don’t overload your extension cords.
Make sure your cord and outlet can handle the amperage and wattage being drawn by your decorations. When using long extension cords, beware of overheating. If it is hot to the touch, unplug it at the outlet to give it a break.
Use GFCIs for outdoor decorations.
Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are typically used in outlets installed in bathrooms and kitchens, where it is possible that water might come into contact with the outlet. In Washington during October, water will come into contact with anything left outdoors for days at a time. To be safe, add a GFCI to your extension cord or buy one with a GFCI installed.
Use tested and certified electrical decorations.
You can buy all sorts of cheap electrical Halloween décor, but not all of them have been tested for safety. Only use products that have been safety-tested by a certified testing laboratory. The safety certification should be listed on the product packaging.
Be careful using dry vegetation in your décor.
It’s common to use corn stalks or hay in Halloween decorations. That’s fine and good, but make sure that these materials don’t make contact with electrical lighting. A hot bulb could ignite a fire.
In fact, there’s no need for open flames at all.
Why risk a fire or injury by lighting your jack-o-lanterns with candles? Use a rechargeable or battery-powered LED light instead.