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October 12, 2017

Halloween Décor – Keeping it Safe Outdoors!

When it comes to holiday decorating, Halloween is second only to Christmas! Every year more and more homeowners personalize their lawns with their own creepy choices…lights, webs, inflatables and every type of horrific décor. It’s the October version of the famous Griswold house come to life! But when you’re decorating the outside of your home, make sure that safety is your first concern. We’ve got some tips to help you plan your landscape of lost souls…if you dare! Lights Test each of your light strands before hanging them, just as you would with your Christmas lights. Make sure the cords are intact, not frayed or split, and that the plugs are firmly attached to the string. Replace any unlit bulbs, making sure the lights are unplugged before doing so. Discard and replace any lights that aren’t 100% - they’re inexpensive and easy to replace. Make sure you’re using the proper lights for outdoor decorating. Each string should be marked with a red UL symbol, indicating that they have been tested for and approved for outdoor use. Lights marked with a green UL symbol are only approved for indoor use. Extension cords should be the heavy-duty, outdoor variety. They’ve been tested in a wide range of weather conditions to ensure optimum safety. The labels on the cord will tell you what the maximum capacity is. Add up the power used by each item that will be plugged into the cord to make sure you won’t be overloading the circuit. Keep cords safely out of the way with plastic hooks. Never use metal staples or nails; they can cause electrical shocks or fires. Candles Jack-o-lanterns are a staple of Halloween decorating, and the flicker of candlelight is the perfect eerie touch. LED candles are a wise choice – they provide the glimmer of traditional candles in your pumpkins and paper bag luminaries without the hazard of open flame. Decorations Make sure you look for items that are flame resistant or fireproof – read the labels carefully. As an extra safety measure, keep all items away from heat sources such as candles, light bulbs or electrical outlets. Be especially careful when hanging fake spider webs, as most are highly flammable. Keep the location of your decorations in mind. Avoid placing items too close to sidewalks, pathways and mailboxes, where they can cause trips, falls or injuries. If cords will be near areas where people can trip and fall, secure them with duct tape or run them under carpet runners or large mats. Make sure hanging decorations aren’t dangling where they will bop heads or interfere with costume headdresses. Put your inflatable decorations on a timer for safety. These popular items use motors to draw the necessary air to keep your bouncy friends fluffy; if they overheat, they can cause a fire. Although you’re going for a dark and creepy look, make sure there is enough non-decorative light to show visitors and trick-or-treaters the way safely to your home through the maze of hauntings! With an eye to safety, you can create a creepy Halloween look that’s sure to be the hit of your neighborhood!

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