Out of all the holidays, I have to admit that Halloween is our favorite. It’s been my favorite since childhood and it’s quickly become my son’s favorite as well. It’s probably the one time in the year when you can become anything that you want and no one will fault you for it. Halloween can be both fun and scary and you can go all out with the costumes, decorations, and parties. If you make it fun and memorable, then your little kids (and maybe bigger kids) will remember it for many years to come.
With Halloween fastly approaching, we may be distracted by our kids begging to choose the right costumes and decorating the house and stocking up on the candy. We may inadvertantly neglect the fact that there are many hidden dangers in this holiday as well. Besides the usual candy and stranger safety, we need to be aware of what we have inside our house as well. Here are some sound safety tips from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that may help you prepare for Halloween.
On Halloween, the risk of home fires, burn-related injuries and falls increases significantly. In fact, a striking 1,170 home structure fires begin with mishaps involving seasonal decorations, such as candles and decorative lights hung on Halloween.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend roughly $ 8 billion on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy this year. And, over half (51.4%) of those celebrating will decorate their home/yard with Halloween decorations.
UL’s Safety Tips for Halloween Decorating:
· Keep candles clear of walkways and out of the reach of trick-or-treaters. Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option.
· Always check for the UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords. A red UL Mark signifies that the lights are certified for indoor and outdoor use. A green UL Mark means the lights are onlycertified for indoor use.
· Check that electrical products are certified for outdoor use by UL and plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)** outlet; to reduce the risk of fire or shock.
· Make sure all passageways are clear of items that could cause tripping, including electrical and telephone cords, rugs, and runners.
Remember that no matter how fun or spooky Halloween can be, it’s even spookier when we’re not extra careful when it comes to decorations and costumes. Always make sure that your child is with a responsible adult, wear costumes that are easily seen, and costumes that do not hinder them from getting hurt.