There is no trick or treat about it – electrical accidents happen when precautions are not taken to prevent tragedies. During this time of year when yards can be filled with ghosts and goblins, make sure all of your costumed critters — as well as your home — are kept safe. Safe Electricity urges everyone to follow simple safety guidelines.
• Before use, check each light for broken sockets, frayed cords or faulty plugs. Replace damaged strings. Always unplug light strings while replacing bulbs.
• Avoid running cords around sidewalks and other walkways outdoors and indoors that could risk tripping or entangling trick-or-treaters. Don’t hide cords under carpeting or rugs, or behind curtains or blinds.
• Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples or plastic ties to hold light strings in place. Never nail or tack cords in place!
• Use only lights, cords, animated displays and decorations rated for outdoor use and UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved.
• Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them.
• Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
• Keep electric objects away from flammable objects, such as hay bales, cornstalks and fabric costumes. The heat from lights and other electrical decorations could potentially cause a fire.