Safe Halloween Decorating to Protect Your Property and Guests
Decorating your home for Halloween is a great way to get into the fall spirit, but it does come with some hazards. Carving pumpkins with sharp knives, climbing tall ladders to hang lights, and decorations with open flames all have the potential to cause injury. Here are 4 tips for safe Halloween decorating that will protect you, your property, and visitors to your home.
Carving pumpkins safely requires using the right tools. Using a large, sharp kitchen knife is not safe because it could easily slip while trying to cut the pumpkin’s slick surface. Use a small paring knife for more control or even better, purchase a pumpkin carving kit.
These inexpensive kits contain a serrated tool that is not sharp but is effective at sawing through pumpkin flesh. The smaller tool you use to carve a pumpkin, the more control you will have over it and reduce the risk of cutting yourself.
Halloween decorating often involves hanging decorations from above. You might hang orange lights from the roofline or ghost decorations from the branches of a tree. To access these areas, you’ll need to climb a ladder, which comes with inherent risks.
If using an extension ladder, lean it against the wall of the house instead of the gutters at a 75-degree angle. Use a stepladder for hanging decorations from trees, because a tree is not generally a stable surface to lean an extension ladder against. Don’t climb on a ladder if you are home alone. Wait until a family member is at home to spot you or help out if needed.
Using open flames to decorate for Halloween adds to a spooky environment, but it is not worth the even scarier risk of starting a house fire. Buy electric lanterns and torches with an artificial flickering flame. They provide the same ambiance without any of the fire risks. When using paper bag luminaries to line pathways, use battery-powered tea lights instead of real ones.
Extension Cords and Safe Halloween Decorating
Many Halloween decorations need to be plugged into an outlet, especially animatronic ghosts, witches, and zombies. If you require electricity for your Halloween decor, minimize the use of extension cords.
Instead of plugging several extension cords together, invest in a longer extension cord so you only have to use one. If using string lights, don’t connect more than three strands together. Plugging too many cords together poses electrical hazards that could start a fire.