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Last Minute Halloween Safety Tips

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about safety tips for cleaning up your yard this fall. Today, we're focusing on Halloween preparation tips. Lots of houses are decorated. But some of us decorate at the last moment. There's no shame in joining the party late!

Halloween used to warrant a jack-o'-lantern or two. Now people go all out for decorating. It has become the second-most decorated holiday after Christmas. The decorations look wonderful and brighten up dreary fall evenings. But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 3,200 Halloween-related injuries are treated at hospitals annually. And, while the holiday is predominantly celebrated by kids, over 54 percent of the injuries happen to adults and 10 percent are to kids under six. Pumpkin carving causes 55 percent of injuries, and 25 percent are from trips and falls.

We want Halloween to be scary in the fun way, not the way that leads to ER visits! Not only do you want to be safe for your own sake, but for others. You want visitors and trick-or-treaters to have fun. Plus, you are liable for injuries on your property! It's essential to ensure you have good outdoor lighting and eliminate tripping hazards like electrical cords. If you've been cleaning up your lawn, be sure your rakes are put away and not left someplace a person could step on them and injure themselves.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2014 and 2019, 770 home fires were caused by Halloween decorations. Candles are a staple of the season. Jack-o'-lanterns can be illuminated with glowsticks or battery-operated candles. Battery-powered candles look wonderful in displays without having the fire risk! Cornstalks, dried flowers, straw and crepe paper are all highly flammable. Keep them far away from heat sources, even lightbulbs or heaters. And, while big displays look impressive, be sure not to block exits from your house. In case of fires, you need to be able to leave quickly.

If you have beloved electrical decorations that go up every year, be sure to check their cords. Electrical cords fray and are prone to wear over time. To avoid painful zaps and a potential fire, be sure all your electrical cords are in good condition before plugging them in. If you are using them outside, check that the cables and bulbs are designed to be used outdoors. Rain and wet conditions can cause electrical fires when they interact with the wrong electrical gear. And, when it comes to home safety, if you have security cameras or something like a Ring doorbell, be sure your decorations don't block their view.  

Following these tips as you prepare for Monday can help your home shine for the holiday! Your place will look amazing, and you'll be able to enjoy Halloween without any terror... other than fear caused by ghosts and ghouls!

Banner image: Kenny Eliason via Unsplash

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