Tips for Electrically Sound Halloween Decor
Halloween haunts usually mean strings of decorative lights, fog machines, strobe and black lights, animatronic coffins, and all varieties of electrically powered decor. These things all add to the ambience of your spook. Conversely, they contribute to realities like fire, electrocution and other disasters that will really make your blood run cold.
Before displaying your teeth chattering adornments inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections cause shock and start fires. If you find any of these problems discard damaged light sets and replace the cords.
Outdoor lights should be fastened securely to trees, house walls, or other firm support to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks. Don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical/extension cords – you could damage the wire or insulation, which can lead to an electrical shock or fire.
If your eerie accessories require extension cords keep them away from ground water and do not overload the cords. Also, before using light strings, animated displays or other electrical products outdoors, make sure it is approved by a nationally recognized certification organization and marked “for outdoor use”, i.e. UL Rated.
A good rule is to use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per extension cord. And, don’t use lectrical decorations or light strings on materials that can catch fire. Remember to turn off electrical decor when you leave home, go to bed, etc.
Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations.
Another rule of thumb, most household circuit breakers are rated up to either 10 or 15 amps (you can tell by looking at the breakers themselves), and household current is generally 110 volts. Amps times volts equal the amount of watts that a breaker can handle without tripping. Learn what breakers protect each section of your home and label them so that you don’t overload your circuit breakers/fuses.
For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
Have a Safe and especially creepy Halloween. Call us if you need help with the safety. And, if you have any photos of your own Halloween Displays share them!! We can’t wait to see!