How to Make Sure Your Halloween Decorations Are Safe This Year

3 Easy Ways to Avoid Electrical Hazards This Halloween!

As Halloween approaches, many homeowners are getting in the festive spirit by adorning their homes and yards with ghouls, ghosts, goblins, and all the things that go ‘bump’ in the night. Of course, today’s Halloween decorating trends have gone beyond the classics like spiderwebs and rubber bats into the more elaborate and extravagant territory – giant inflatable monsters, fog machines, string lights, and animatronic villains complete with diabolical laughter.

These decorations can make for a fun, frightful time for trick-or-treaters and adults alike, but they can also become real-life horrors if not properly set up. Every year in the U.S., holiday decorations spark hundreds of electrical fires that result in property damage, injuries, and even death. So to ensure this year’s Halloween decorations are the right kind of scary, here are three electrical safety tips every homeowner should know!

Check Electric Decorations for Issues Before Putting Them Up

inflatablesFirst up, before plugging in or putting up any electrical decorations, homeowners should inspect them for damage and wear. This is particularly important if the decorations have been in storage since last year, but it also goes for brand-new decorations right out of the box. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires and electric shock, so it pays to be extra vigilant.

Look out for cracked plugs, exposed wires, damaged wire insulation, corroded terminals, loose connections, and missing or broken bulbs. The same goes for extension cords, timers, or power strips homeowners plan on using. If they find any issues that can’t be fixed with a simple solution, such as replacing a missing bulb, homeowners should throw out the faulty decorations or damaged cords and buy new ones. The extra cost is well worth the family’s safety.

Have a Strategy for Where to Plug in Decorations

outletsNext, homeowners should plan where to run cords and plug in their decorations. Extension cords and power cables should be away from walkways, doorways, or anywhere else they can be crushed, twisted, pinched, or stepped on since this may damage the insulation. Instead of hanging lights using nails or staples, which can pierce the wiring and cause a fault, it’s best to use plastic clips or adhesives.

Homeowners should also avoid overloading outlets with too many decorations, as this can trip the circuit breaker and cause wires to overheat, which may result in a fire. This can be prevented by using multiple outlets, being mindful of amperage limits on timers and power strips, and not exceeding three sections of string lights in a row (or whatever the maximum limit is for that particular brand).

To prevent the risk of electric shock, homeowners should also ensure that outdoor decorations like Halloween inflatables, yard decorations, and lights are rated for outdoor use and only plugged into GFCI outlets. Most outdoor or garage outlets in modern homes require GFCI protection.

Use Surge Protection

Lastly, it’s a good idea to have surge protection to protect decorations. Whole-house surge protectors installed at the main electrical panel are the most effective, but most homeowners are probably more familiar with the smaller surge protectors that resemble power strips. Unlike power strips, surge protectors can help protect against electrical fires and damage to electronic devices.

Surge protectors work by sensing power surges (momentary spikes in voltage within a circuit) and sending the excess current into the home’s grounding wire and away from any electronics plugged into the surge protector (such as Halloween yard decorations). Suppose a power surge occurs on an unprotected circuit. In that case, any devices plugged into that circuit will bear the brunt of the surge, potentially being fried or even igniting an electrical fire.

Power surges can come from nearby lightning strikes, damage to power lines, restoration of power after a blackout, or even high-powered appliances like refrigerators or heating and cooling systems cycling on. So surge protectors are well worth the investment to safeguard against the unexpected this Halloween – and beyond!

About Modern Electrical Services

Founded in 2016, Modern Electrical Services has quickly become one of the highest-rated electrical contractors in Groveland. Their trustworthy electricians always arrive on time, provide friendly, professional service, and leave every home better than they found. They offer up-front pricing, financing, same-day service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there’s no one better to call for whole-house surge protector services in Groveland, MA!