The evolution of Halloween décor has come a long way. A carved jack-o’-lantern and the porch light on used to suffice, but Halloween is quickly becoming the second most decorated holiday of the year.

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re sharing 10 quick safety tips to keep your decor spooky, not scary.

Ensure your lights have certification

  1. All lights should have a sign of approval from a Canadian certification agency, such as CSA, URL or other. This certification should be located both on the outside of the package, and stamped somewhere on the lights themselves.  Do note that less expensive lights available at discount and dollar stores are often missing this certification, meaning they are not permitted for use in Canada. More information regarding acceptable certification marks can be found here.
  2. Green labels mean the product is suitable for outdoor use, red labels mean the lights are for indoor use only. Always use the right type of lights for your location.

Take care of cords and wires

  1. Don’t leave lights up year round. Exposing lights to the elements will make them deteriorate faster, and can introduce unsafe conditions.
  2. Replace any lights that have frayed or broken cords and replace any burned out lights.
  3. Never run cords under rugs where people will walk over them or through doorways or windows where they may become pinched (pinched wires can cause a fire).
  4. When hanging lights, avoid stapling or nailing cords as this can puncture the cord. Instead, use plastic clips made specifically for this purpose.

Halloween safety tips

Be mindful of extension cords

  1. Indoor and outdoor extension cords are rated differently. Use the right cord for the right location.
  2. Make sure cords can handle the amperage indicated on your electrical devices, and avoid multi-outlet adaptor connections which can overload your outlet.

Beware of overloaded circuits

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing and using any electrical decorations, and always turn them off at night before you go to bed.
  2. Consider switching to energy efficient LED lights – they produce less heat, which reduces the risk of fire.

Learn more about electrical safety for homeowners.