As the first in the lineup of major fall holidays, Halloween is not only one of the most fun but also a great opportunity to decorate your home with displays that can be both scary and humorous. This makes it easy to go overboard and end up with a huge energy bill or, worse, a dangerous situation resulting from unsafe decorations. Here are some tips to help you celebrate this spooky holiday in a safe and efficient way.
Check Decorations Thoroughly Before Use
Many people re-use holiday decorations year after year. After spending 11 months in a damp basement or hot attic, it’s likely that some of the pieces will have deteriorated, so it’s important to check them all before you put them up again. Check electrical wires thoroughly for worn or cracked insulation and other signs of damage. Plug them in and replace any bulbs that are burned out. Turn on items that contain electric motors and listen for loud, grinding, or grating noises and watch for sparks. Toss anything that is even slightly suspicious and replace with fresh decorations.
Ditch the Flames
From lighting up jack o’ lanterns to creating a spooky atmosphere on your porch for trick or treaters, candles are effective at creating a sense of mystery, but they can also cause fires and are particularly dangerous for children wearing flowing costumes. This year, replace them with electric candles, flashlights, or glow-sticks. You’ll still get the creepy effect without the fire hazard.
Unplug Lights When Not in Use
Even if your lights are not turned on, they may still be sucking energy if they are plugged in. When not in use, unplug lights and other decorations that require electricity. You’ll save on your energy bill and reduce the chances of electrical fires.
Watch the Inflatables
Inflatables have become one of the go-to decorations for the holidays. From blow-up spiders to inflatable skeletons, inflatables seem to be on everyone’s list. But as cool as they are, they are also tough on the utility bill because the built-in electric fan blows continuously. If left on around the clock, a single inflatable can cost you $20 or more on your next electricity bill. If you must have inflatables, leave them on for only a few hours per day.
Consider Decorations That Don’t Require Electricity
Making your own decorations can be a fun way to enjoy the holidays. Instead of buying a bunch of expensive decorations that need electricity, try focusing on homemade this year. Carve or paint pumpkins, make a creepy haunted house out of construction paper and cardboard boxes, or make skeletons from Popsicle sticks. If you do plan to buy pre-made decorations, shop for items that don’t need to be plugged in.
As Halloween approaches, be mindful of decorations that could be dangerous or that will inflate your utility bill. If you have questions about how to decorate your home in a safe and energy-efficient manner, please get in touch with Eric M. Krise Electrical Contractor in Elmer, NJ. We’d love to talk with you about your decorating ideas and help you make your home scary – but safe. Call us: 856-769-3932.