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Don't Let Halloween Decorations Turn Ghoulish Festivities into a Night of Fright

Did you know that more than 1,000 home fires begin annually with mishaps involving seasonal decorations, such as candles and decorative lights -  and Halloween is one of the top five days of the year for home candle fires? [i]

"Often times when we decorate for Halloween or a holiday party, we don't think of the potential dangers that can start a house fire," said John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL. "Overturned candles, frayed wires and other electrical mishaps can easily start a fire that will ruin your Halloween."

"Damaged or misused electric light strings and extension cords, if left unchecked before you put them up, can deliver shocks and potentially ignite," Drengenberg said. "If they are damaged or have frayed wires, you should buy new ones. They are relatively inexpensive and incredibly good insurance for keeping your holiday season safe."

To help make Halloween a little less scary, UL, a global safety science company, has a few safety tips to keep in mind while decorating the home this Halloween.

  • 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 only certified 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.

For more information on Halloween safety, visit UL's GFCI article

[i] National Fire Protection Association