October 2023: Decorate and Trick-or Treat Safely this Halloween

Halloween is a time for candy, costumes and in some cases, outdoor lighting or inflatable decorations. While preparing for and enjoying the holiday, follow these safety precautions:

Outdoor Lighting

  • Inspect each electrical decoration. Check cords for cracking, fraying, or bare wires, as they may cause a serious shock or start a fire. Also, inspect for damaged plugs.
  • Replace any damaged decorations.
  • Make sure any lights, animated displays or other electrical outdoor products are safety tested by a reputable laboratory such as UL (Underwriters Laboratory) and approved for outdoor use.
  • Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water on the ground.
  • Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into ground fault circuit interrupter-protected outlets.
  • When decorating outside, always make sure to look up and check that you and any equipment, such as ladders, are at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Always carry a ladder or other long object or tool in a horizontal position.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Division, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips:

Costume safety

  • Wear costumes that are labeled flame-resistant.
  • Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape for added visibility.
  • Do not wear decorative (colored) contact lenses unless you have seen an eye care professional for a proper fitting and instructions on how to use them.
  • Wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks that can obscure or obstruct your vision.
  • Test the makeup you plan to use in advance for a possible allergy by putting a small amount on your arm.

Food safety

  • Do not let your little ones (or anyone) eat candy or other treats until they have been inspected at home.
  • Check all labels for potential food allergens.
  • If you have very young trick-or-treaters, remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys from the goodie pile.
  • Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as tiny pinholes, tears in wrappers, or anything unusual.
  • Limit your risk of questionable candy by only ringing doorbells attached to homes you know.

Enjoy treats and decorate safely. Get more electrical safety tips at www.celp.com and SafeElectricity.org.


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