5 Halloween Decoration Safety Tips To Keep You Safe This Season

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Although Halloween is full of frightful experiences, decorating mishaps shouldn't be one of them. Whether you decorate your home inside, out, or both, there are a few safety precautions to consider when preparing and installing your chilling décor. According to U.S. News, one of the top dangers that people face on Halloween is not from masked kids and their tricks, but rather from carving jack-o'-lanterns. While cutting up a pumpkin isn't something to rush through, it's also not a motion or activity most people do every day, which can result in unforeseen incidents.

How can you stay safe amidst the scary décor? From sufficient lighting to keeping things secure, it's best to be aware of possible hazards. Other accidents that frequently occur can be slips, trips, or falls. Although creatures of the night may be lurking, so are dark sidewalks, steps, and pathways, including unstable lights and wiring, and other potential loose items that can instigate an accident. From cuts and scrapes to head trauma, don't let the joy of displaying Halloween decorations lead you to the emergency room. Read on to discover more about how to have a safe and secure Halloween.

Use a sturdy ladder

Ladders are great tools when it comes to installing things that are too high or tedious to reach. Although you might often grab and go, it's vital to make sure your ladder is strong enough to handle all your Halloween decorating while avoiding falls. Initially, always make sure it's placed on an even surface and you're wearing non-slip shoes. If applying inflatable décor or lights on the roof or upper portions of the home, the ladder should extend a few feet past your roofline. 

You may need a specialized ladder depending on the overall weight being transported up and down, which includes yourself and the materials. Based on the level of the job, ladders may range from light to heavy working loads, explains Safety Culture. You can also save on time and mishaps by wearing a tool belt, a protective hard hat, and gloves.

Additionally, before you install your electrical décor up there, inspect it for broken parts, frayed pieces, or other damage to avoid catastrophe. To evade fires, replace bulbs if possible and keep the lights at a safe distance from dried trees and plants. Also, if there is a water source nearby like a fountain or sprinkler system, keep cords and wires away.

Keep walkways clear and lit

Is your porch light on? Whether you create a labyrinth-style haunted house at your residence or display more subtle decorations, children and adults will be walking up to your door for trick or a treat. However your lawn is set up, the sidewalk or driveway is typically a trick-or-treater's route of arrival, therefore these areas should be clear of electrical cords, debris, décor, and wires. If it's through the grass or another trail, you might create a safe pathway for you and your guests to avoid any unwanted threats. Light up the footpath or steps with solar lights, lanterns, or spotlights. Whether they are Halloween-themed stakes or glowing orbs, this will ensure adequate safety.

Also, secure any dangling string lights or cords to avoid entanglement or tripping with tape, hooks, or other means of stabilization. If you can't avoid them being present, you might try burying them in the grass or even under the sidewalk, suggests Jon's DIY. If you can't conceal cords anywhere else, then distinguish a clear path by shaping them around the walkways or incorporate a fence to bypass them. Whatever method you choose, your effort will benefit everyone, including the ghouls and goblins.

Conceal or remove flammable materials

Dryness and heat may be a bad combination within the cauldron. From broken, wild wires to dry air and leaves, the National Fire Protection Association notes that there are numerous potential risks for a fire hazard amidst the peculiar, darkened haze. According to Kentucky Farm Bureau, that dry pile of leaves could catch fire when overheated lights rest against them for too long. It may be necessary to remove dry tree debris and leaves within your gutters and yard if installing an ample amount of electrical décor. Also, be certain to turn off your lights and other electronics throughout the night or if you're away from home.

Furthermore, make sure your extension cords are utilized in their appropriate place and are safe from wet or soaked areas. Although outdoor cords do appear more heavy-duty than indoor types, many are not entirely water resistant. And, while they can manage higher amperage, don't overload them. Overall, replacing or repairing what you have will add some assurance for a safe start.

Carve pumpkins with a kit

While kids love to help, handling a sharp knife takes technique and practice, especially when working with the hard shell of a pumpkin. Raw, uncooked pumpkins aren't something even adults work with all that often, so it's extremely important to cut and shape them with care. According to the ASSH, using the largest, sharpest knife you have may not be the safest option to slice through the thick, tough portions. Larger knives get stuck easier and are generally harder to maneuver. Instead, try a pumpkin carving kit, which is made to carve creations with ease, thanks to its small, serrated cutting edge.

An overabundance of lit pumpkins might also be a concern to watch out for, especially if they get knocked around or pushed over. Originally carved from potatoes and turnips, traditional jack-o-lanterns featured burning candles to create that eerie glow, as kids paraded them about (via Spirit Halloween). Today, there's the option to implement battery-operated candles or tea lights, which will lessen the likelihood of an accident — electronic lights make a more low-maintenance, stress-free approach.

Apply safety and supervision for all

From a makeshift skeleton cemetery and giant spiderwebs to talking animatronics and electronic cauldron fog machines, it's essential to execute good safety measures surrounding your store-bought and homemade decorations. Whatever the scene or setup, consider in advance how an activity will play out and any resulting safety concerns. If something is intended to fall, roll, or swing, there should be enough light for it to be seen as well as additional support to secure the mechanism from harming anyone. 

Whether indoors or out, it is vital to monitor young ones and pets when around things like burning candles, cords, and lights. Moreover, you should pay close attention to décor items that they could accidentally consume — according to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, you should hang imitation cobwebs out of reach of small children, as they have been known to grab and eat them like candy.