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Safe Electricity Urges Farmers to Look Up and Look Out

For Release: October 29, 2013Halloween Safety

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815, kekruse@illinois.edu

 

Safe Electricity Provides Tips to Prevent Scares and Keep Costumed Visitors Safe This Halloween

(SPRINGFIELD, IL)—Grown-ups have stocked up on sweet treats and filled the yard with decorations, while the kids have planned their costumes and trick-or-treating routes. Safe Electricity urges everyone to make sure your costumed visitors are kept safe from potential electrical hazards.

Safe Electricity suggests double checking your lights and decorations to avoid real scares this Halloween:

  • Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. Do not run electrical cords across sidewalks or other walkway areas that could trip or endanger trick-or-treaters. Indoors, avoid stretching cords across a room where people or pets can trip over them or become entangled.
  • Make sure that the lights you use have been safety tested by an approved laboratory.
  • Double-check light strings to see if they are frayed. Replace damaged strings.
  • Make sure extension cords are in good condition. Use only cords that are certified by UL, ETL, or CSA and rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them. Electric overloads can cause shocks and start fires. Read the label on both the cord and the appliances that are plugged into it to make sure the cord can handle the load. If it cannot, use a higher-rated cord, or unplug some appliances. Remember that extension cords are meant for temporary, not permanent, use.
  • Outdoors, use only lights, cords, and animated displays rated for outdoor use.
  • Ensure that outdoor lights are securely fastened to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only plastic hooks or insulated staples to hold light strings in place, not nails or tacks. Also, be sure not to staple or nail through light strings or electrical cords.
  • Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets do not have them. GFCI protection is very important outdoors, where weather conditions can create potentially dangerous electrical situations.
  • Always turn off or unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home. A timer can help you make sure this happens.

Stay safe this Halloween, and visit SafeElectricity.org to learn more about electrical safety.

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.