Halloween Electrical Safety Tips (for Families)
The Halloween season is once again upon us and Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning wants to make sure that our Mountlake Terrace neighbors enjoy a safe and happy holiday. In addition to the trick-or-treating safety procedures that all kids should follow, there are several residential issues that families should keep in mind. Halloween decorations have become bigger and more elaborate within the last decade, adding more excitement – and more safety concerns. Our professional electricians have put together an essential list of electrical safety tips for kids to ensure this Halloween is more treat than trick!
Indoor & Outdoor Safety
Battery-operated Halloween decorations and toys can be dangerous for small children. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 3,500 people of all ages unintentionally swallow button batteries. The size is especially attractive to small children, who sometimes confuse them with candy. Be mindful of all decorations and toys using these small batteries – and keep kids away from any opened packages. All battery-related fatalities have involved button batteries.
Consider buying flameless candles and tea lights instead of the thing. Flameless candles last much longer than wax candles – and much safer. You can also find designs that flicker like real candles. Keep your home and family safe from potential fire hazards and replace wax candles with flameless designs. Your jack-o-lanterns will last longer without a flame burning on the inside.
Inspect all electrical decorations. Designs that have frayed or compromised cords should be thrown away immediately. If an electrical decoration is dropped or damaged, it’s best to discard it altogether, especially if small children are around.
When buying decorations for your home exterior, make sure that they are marked for “outdoor use.” Outdoor decorations are designed to withstand the elements, while indoor designs are not “weather proofed.”
Make sure that all outdoor electrical decorations are connected to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), to reduce the risk of shock. GFCIs should be installed wherever water might come into contact with an electrical product.
Keep costumes away from heat sources including light bulbs, heaters and open flames.
Turn off all electrical lights and decorations before going to bed. Make a habit out of taking a walk throughout the interior and exterior to ensure everything has been unplugged.
When installing yard decorations, place the cords out of the path of traffic to keep people from tripping over them. This rule should be followed with indoor decorations as well. Place them close the nearest outlet to keep the cord length short. Also make sure that exposed cords are secured or protected with cord covers.
Never attach cords or lights to metal objects. Fasten outdoor lights to walls, roofs, trees or other firm supports to keep them from wind damage.
Only purchase lights that have been safety tested by Underwriters Laboratory or other reputable companies. Look for the UL label on the packaging.
Avoid using hay bales, corn stalks or other dried organic materials. They are highly flammable and can easily be ignited by a hot light bulb or flame. Seek out fire-retardant faux versions of these fall decoration staples if you want them for your Halloween theme.
We hope that you and your family have a safe and festive holiday. Remember that when you need electrical repair and troubleshooting, Blue Flame has the professional electricians who can help with any project. Call us at 206-388-5667 to schedule an appointment today!