Halloween Decor Safety Tips
With Halloween decorations going up and pumpkins being carved, we thought this would be a perfect time to talk about the hazards of such decorations. Did you know that decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year? More than two of every five of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment. Candles started more than one-third of these fires.
Whether you’re simply adding a few carved pumpkins to your front porch or going for the full-on Addams Family mansion look, a little advanced planning, and good safety practices will help keep your property safe for Halloween. Here are Brookstone’s “Hot Tips” for Halloween decoration safety:
- Before Halloween, walk your property 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.
- Ensure that your front yard, walkway, and entryway are well-lit so that those unfamiliar with your home can safely navigate. If using a fog machine, be careful that it does not make it difficult to see tripping hazards.
- 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 spooky 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.
- Avoid any kind of open flame.
- Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
- Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.
- 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.
- 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.
We hope these tips help you and your family have a happy and safe Halloween!