Southern California Edison issued safety suggestions today for Halloween, topped by never using burning candles to light jack-o’-lanterns or as part of any decoration because of their severe fire risk.
Edison instead suggested using battery-operated, flameless candles.
Halloween decorations cause more than 1,000 home fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Other suggestions include:
— Not throwing light strands or electrical cords into trees or vegetation near power lines and utility poles;
— Carefully inspecting decorations for cracked or frayed wiring that may cause serious electric shock or ignite a fire;
— Keeping electrical objects safely away from popular flammables like hay bales and cornstalks;
— Plugging outdoor decorations into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter-protected outlets;
— Making certain electrical products are marked “for outdoor use” before using them outside;
— Using plastic zip cords when hanging lights instead of staples, tacks or nails;
— Using no more than three strands of lights per extension cord;
— Keeping electric cords out of high-traffic areas, like walkways, where they can be a tripping hazard;
— Only using decorations bearing the UL, CSA or ETL labels; and
— Checking the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for Halloween-related product recalls.
“The easiest way to a safe Halloween is to make smart decisions from the start,” said Don Neal, SCE’s director of corporate environmental, health and safety.
“From not using burning candles to buying costumes and decorations with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials, select with safety in mind.”
More information on electrical safety is available at sce.com/staysafe.