10 Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners
October 5, 2018
Halloween is right around the corner, and before you know it ghouls, goblins, and guisers will be taking over the neighborhood threatening “Trick or treat.”
Let’s keep the horrors psychological, not physical, this Halloween with these 10 Halloween safety tips for homeowners.
And given that Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, now is the perfect time to start inspecting your home for fire and Halloween safety hazards.
10 Halloween Safety Tips
1. Avoid Flammable Decorations
While dried flowers, hay, and corn stalks are unmistakable fall elements, they are also highly flammable and can be ignited by the smallest heat source, such as a candle, cigarette, or nearby lightbulb.
Before you buy any decorations for the holidays, make sure they are flame-resistant, flame-retardant, or non-combustible. If you do end up using flammable decorations, keep them far away from any heat sources, including light bulbs.
2. Avoid Dangerous Costumes
Costumes can be extremely dangerous, especially when around candles, lanterns, and other open flame situations.
When choosing your Halloween costume this year, look for the “flame-resistant” label. In general, thinner, flimsier material burns a lot hotter and faster.
Try to avoid these materials:
- PVC and petroleum-based fabrics
- Any polymerized plasticky stuff
These materials are a lot safer:
- Nomex or Nomex blended fabrics
- Treated cotton (ARAMID, fire-retardant cotton)
In addition to making sure your costumes are flame resistant, follow these costume safety tips:
- Avoid capes and long trailing fabrics.
- Choose soft and flexible accessories, nothing that could hurt yourself or others.
- Make sure masks are big enough and that you can see and breath properly.
- Stay visible (use reflective tape and glow sticks for dark costumes).
- Wear comfortable shoes with a proper grip so you don’t slip and fall.
- Make sure the costume fits so it doesn’t pose tripping, ripping, or fire hazard.
3. Test GFCI and AFCI Protection
Outdoor lights and other electrical decorations are popular this time of year. Take the time to test your GFCI and AFCI breakers and outlets to make sure you have the proper ground fault and arc fault protection you need to prevent shocks and fires.
4. Inspect Cords Before Use
Before you start using any extension cords or electrical products, make sure none of the cords or plugs are damaged, such as cracking, fraying, and exposed wiring.
5. Install Tamper-Resistant Receptacles
Protect curious children from electric shocks by installing tamper-resisted receptacles in your home.
If you have children or babies at home, definitely invest in Tamper-Resistant Receptacles or TRRs. TRRs have an inner locking mechanism that prevents tampering with pointed objects and tiny hands. Since nearly all children can remove the small plastic covers of yore, TRRs are essential for protecting children from outlet dangers.
Contact an electrician to install TRRs if you have any young ones or are expecting.
6. Get Rid of Tripping and Slipping Hazards
Keep cords away from traffic areas, such as paths and driveways. Make sure there are no tripping hazards and that your sidewalk and stairs are clear. Clean your garage and pathways of oil, grease, and other slipping hazards.
If you are hanging decorations that require a ladder, make sure the ladder and ground are free from oil, grease, and sharp objects. Learn more ladder safety tips.
7. Inspect Outdoor Lights
You want to have working lights for the scariest night of the year. While you want your pathways and entrance clearly lit, you also want to make sure there are no blinding bright lights. Walk up to your entrance at night to see if there are any lights hitting your eye.
Remember, you want to see the effect of landscape lighting, not the source. If you have any problems with your outdoor lighting or electrical system, contact Fix-It 24/7.
8. Make Sure Electrical Products Are Tested by Independent Testing Laboratory
Before you buy or use any extension cords or electrical decorations of any kind, make sure they have been tested by an independent testing laboratory, such as UL, Intertek, or CSA.
If you are using any electrical products outdoors, check that they are rated for “outdoor use.”
9. Use Flameless Candles
Candle fires peak during the holidays. Instead of real candles, opt for a flashlight or battery-operated candles instead. Flameless candles look like the real deal!
If you must use a flame candle, be extra careful and follow these candle safety tips:
- Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that could burn.
- Place candles on a sturdy, level surface away from edges.
- Extinguish all candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
10. Schedule Electrical Safety Inspection Once a Year
We highly recommend annual electrical safety inspections, and fall is the perfect time to schedule one.
Annual electrical safety inspections will let you know if there are any potential electrical shock or fire hazards around the home. You want to identify defective electrical work before it causes a problem.
Contact Fix-It 24/7 at (303) 214-0277 for 24/7 plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical service in the Denver area or schedule service online.
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