Halloween Decorating Safety Tips
3 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Halloween Parties
Decorating for Halloween can bring out creativity in everyone, but many elements of Halloween decorating can pose hazards to unsuspecting visitors. Here are a few safety tips to keep handy when preparing for Halloween:
Clean up your mess: Do your pumpkin carving on absorbent newspaper and scoop those pumpkinseeds and slimy innards into a bowl.
Say No, no, to knives: Don’t let your children handle sharp carving knives and keep an eye on them while you’re carving. If possible, purchase specific tools that are geared just for pumpkin carving (for your safety, too!). If the kids really want to participate in the carving, you can let them make the pattern or poke the pumpkin flesh in after you’ve done the carving.
Reconsider the candles: If you’re going to have many children around, nix the candles. It’s just too much of a fire hazard. Buy a bunch of glow sticks readily available at any party supply or discount store and place them inside your jack-o’-lanterns. They cast an eerie green glow and are safe all around.
Pay attention: Never leave a candle anywhere unattended, and never leave burning candles where children (or people who act like children) can reach them or accidentally knock them over.
Blazing fires aren’t allowed: Keep a fire extinguisher handy. You never know when a gourd will go up in smoke (no, dear, that’s not a special effect).
Secure the perimeters: Make sure that all props hanging, dangling, draped, staked, or set are steadily secured. Where there will be foot traffic, tape down loose wires with duct tape. You don’t want people to trip. And check these places often during the course of the evening for any loose edges that need retaping.
Follow the package directions: If a package of lights says that they’re only for indoor use, don’t string them outside. Read the fog machine directions. Take every precaution when it comes to decorating with materials you’re not familiar with.