Don't Be Spooked by Unsafe Electrical Decorations

Nine electrical cords plugged into the wall.

Adorning your home or yard in a ghastly display of Halloween gear? Halloween can be a terrifyingly terrific time of fun and excitement for kids and adults of all ages. Just be sure to use your head – don’t lose it – when it comes to those dastardly decorations! Whether you’re adding a few decorative lights or going all out with animatronics, strobe lights, and fog machines, safely set your Halloween ambiance with these common-sense safety tips:

Avoid these electrical horrors in your haunted house:

Creepily covered cords

Covering cords and wires with rugs or furniture prevents them from dissipating heat, which could result in electrical fire.

Dreadfully doubled-up duplexes

Overloading extension cords and outlets is another recipe for disaster. Read lighting sets and props to determine how many can be safely strung together. A good rule of thumb is no more than three standard size sets of lights per single outlet.

Morbidly mistaken materials

Be certain you don’t mistake or mix-up electrical items designed for indoor use only for those used outside your home. Even in seemingly dry weather, decorations effected by dampness could result in electrical shock. Make sure packaging and product labels are approved by a nationally recognized certification organization such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for outdoor use. This includes, animated displays, lights, radios, and extension cords.

Horribly hanging lights

Outdoor lights must be fastened securely to prevent wind damage. Safe choices include running lights through small hooks or supporting them with insulated staples. NEVER use uninsulated staples, nails or tacks to hold light cords in place. These items could damage wires or insulation and result in fire or shock.

Blood-curdling cord care

Unless you’re truly looking for a “shocking experience,” never run extension cords through snow or water.

Awfully absent GFCIs

Outdoor lights and decorations plugged into outlets without the protection of a GFCI for preventing water hazards, shocks, and fires are an accident waiting to happen. Don’t have any? Portable GFCIs provide an easy and inexpensive solution.

Doomed, derelict decorations

Never used electrical decorations with cracked or frayed sockets, loose connections or wires, stripped/bare wires, or any other questionable damage, as these could result in serious shock or fire. Electrical tape is not enough for a safe fix. Store items in original packaging to prevent damages when not in use.

Frighteningly fiery fabrics

Flowing Halloween costumes can quickly overheat and catch fire. Use care around electric heaters, venting, lights, and other electrical items. Ensure costume material is heat resistant - it takes more than an open flame to light up your Halloween accessories!

Fearsomely flammable décor

Decorations featuring crepe paper, hay, corn stalks, and other dry, easily ignitable materials must be kept away from heating and lighting to prevent fire. Consider investing in LEDs for a safer scare.

Appallingly unattended appliances

Before leaving home or heading to bed always switch off electrical decorations, including string lights.

Avoid a harrowing Halloween. Ensure a holiday full of treats – not tricks – with the help of Mr. Electric® today!