Your holiday season could be ruined by decorating your home without taking the necessary electrical safety precautions. Simple ornaments, like Halloween lights, have the potential to start a devastating house fire.
Between 2019 and 2021, injuries caused by battery ingestion resulted in 76,667 patients, including children, being hospitalized. Button batteries were used in all battery-related fatalities.
Inadvertently swallowing button batteries, also known as watch or coin batteries, which power a variety of electronics like toys, decorations, and remote controls happens to nearly 4,500 people in the United States every year of all ages.
So, this Halloween, take the time to check that your electrical setup is secure to safeguard you and your loved ones from unanticipated dangers.
Home Electrical Safety Tips to Follow This Halloween
As Halloween draws near, you should take the time to assess the security of your elaborate outdoor displays and indoor decorations to help avoid fires and other mishaps. We have put together guidelines for electrical safety below in the hopes that they will help you keep your family safe this year.
Beware of incandescent lights
Even though incandescent lights are no longer frequently used for holiday decorations, some people still adore the way the bigger, brighter bulbs appear.
Do not connect more than three strings of incandescent lights together when decorating your home for the holidays.
Because incandescent bulbs consume more electricity than contemporary LED lights, connecting more than three strings of incandescent lights in a row runs the risk of tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. A fire could result from this.
Keep electricity in its proper place
Install ground-fault circuit interrupters to safeguard your outlets. In the event that stray electricity penetrates the insulation, this can guarantee that the power will be turned off. Electrical burns, fires, and severe shocks may result from this.
Making the effort to ensure that your power outlets have a correct GFCI can help to ensure that neither you nor your family will come into contact with any live wires. There are numerous GFCI varieties available, including portable models for use on the fly, to safeguard any sort of outlet you have. If you're not sure if your power outlets are GFCI protected, speak with a local electrical engineer to learn about your alternatives.
To lessen the risk of electric shock, use outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). Use an adapter that has a GFCI if your house is older and may not have one. This is very important for electrical safety at home.
Prevent damage to cords
Consider the location of the cords when you are installing your Christmas decorations. Make sure to prevent extension and electrical cords from harm.
If used outdoors, do not leave cords lying across roads or walkways, check that all connections are watertight, and make sure they won't be snagged by furniture or hit by the vacuum. Make sure that closing windows or doors won't harm electrical wires by keeping them at least 3 feet away from heaters and other heat sources.
What to do with outdoor decorations
Giant yard inflatables are becoming more and more common, but they pose a serious risk to safety, particularly for young children. Their plastic case can be a suffocation threat when not inflated (they must be plugged in to stay upright). When not in use, try to transfer the inflatable to a safe location. Additionally, make sure that no extension wires for any exterior decorations are in the way of trick-or-treaters' general passage.
Check the label before purchasing outside decorations to make sure they are approved for outdoor use. Even cords intended for outdoor usage shouldn't be left in the water that is still. Make sure you have made all the electrical safety checks.
What about indoor decorations?
Make sure any extension cords are kept out of the way of foot traffic and keep all electrical decorations close to wall outlets. Always switch off interior lights and decorations before going to bed, even though it's entertaining (and terrifying) to have them on at night. Additionally, "for indoor use, only" items should always be stored inside!
Please review the information on your lights
You might grab them off the shelf or throw them in your online shopping basket when you first buy light chains and strands of bright pumpkins if you don't pay attention to some crucial statistics.
In order to avoid overloading a circuit, you need to be aware of the wattage of the lights. The lights' suitability for indoor or outdoor use must also be known. Using lights that are solely intended for indoor usage outside your home poses major electrical risks.
Go for safe decorations
When buying electrical decorations, examine the label to make sure they have been deemed safe for use by an organization with national acclaim.
Be careful not to pierce cords with staples or nails when attaching light strings or other lighting decorations as this could harm the insulation. In a similar vein, avoid running cords through windows or entrances where they could be damaged or pinched.
Other things to know:
1: Make sure to inspect the cords for fraying or other damage before plugging them in, just like you would with any holiday lights.
2: Try to avoid crossing pathways with extension cords. To lessen trip dangers, if necessary, tape the cords securely down.
3: Before retiring to bed, extinguish all candles, deflate inflatable yard decorations, and turn off any lights.
Verify electrical wiring for usability
Electrical decorations with frayed wiring or loose plugs should not be used. You can cover the damaged shell with electrical tape if it is only slightly damaged and doesn't expose any bare wires. If not, you should have a new plug installed for you. The best course of action to reduce the risk of fire is to properly dispose of electrical Halloween decorations that are significantly damaged.
Halloween light cables should not be run across any areas where they could pose a tripping hazard. or any other location where a child or animal could get access to the wire and try to gnaw on it. Pay close attention to extension cords as well; whenever possible, we advise against using them.
When decorating, use dry plants with caution
Hay or corn stalks are frequently used as Halloween decorations. That's great, but watch out that they don't come into contact with any electrical lighting. A fire could start from a hot bulb.
Last but not least, there is absolutely no need for open flames
Why light your jack-o-lanterns with candles when doing so could cause a fire or injury? Use an LED light that is the battery- or rechargeable-powered instead. Hence, must follow all the important electrical safety guidelines mentioned above.