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It’s that time of year again—time to stock up on treats, flu and cold medicine, and school supplies. Yes, fall is here. With Halloween just around the corner and back to school in full swing, fall can sometimes feel like more tricks than treats, especially if you’re not prepared with electrical safety tips!

Check Your Decorations:

Before your decorations turn your home from festive to haunted house you should inspect all of your holiday lights and decorations. Even if you bought them brand new or replaced and carefully checked the wiring the previous year. You’ll be leaving your lights plugged in for several hours and they’ll most likely be unattended. Home decorations can get damaged by any number of reasons; whether it’s from storage, the outdoor elements, or the cat, any damaged electrical wires or decorations can start a fire.

Here are a few specific things you should do:

  • Don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical cords.
  • Make sure extension cords are in good condition.
  • Before plugging in the lights, check each string for broken sockets, frayed cords, or faulty plugs. Replace damaged strings.
  • Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold light strings in place, not nails or tacks.
  • Do not attach cords or lights to metal objects.
  • Outdoors, use only lights and cords rated for outdoor use.
  • Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Do not run electrical cords across sidewalks or other walkway areas that could trip or endanger trick-or-treaters.