Decorations make Halloween fun. The more elaborate the decor, the more exciting the spectacle. That being said, poor installation of your best pieces can lead to disaster. Don’t let faulty wiring ruin your candy-filled spookfest. We’ll help keep your Halloween hazard-free with a few tips and neat tricks for wiring your DIY decorations.

How to Handle Your Wires Properly

A coiled, yellow extension cableWhen installing your electronic decorations, the first thing to consider is the wiring. Wiring can be complicated, and there are dangers if it’s not done properly. Let’s talk about the cables you plan to use as well as how you can avoid the hazards of faulty wiring.

  • Always use three-pronged cables. Without the third prong that you see on larger cables, it is more difficult for an electrical current to be grounded. Without a grounded current, you might be shocked—literally—by what happens.
  • Check your cables before each use. A damaged cable—especially one missing much-needed rubber insulation—can cause electrical fires or shock.
  • Properly store cables after use. Extension cables, as well as other wiring, should be stored indoors. To avoid a tangled mess of wires and stress, try using a professional cable-wrapping technique.

Tips for Electrical Hazards and Safety

An electrical fire erupts from within a power stripThe number of dangers when dealing with wiring is, unabashedly, shocking. They can trip, tear, distract, and injure. Worst of all, these common hazards are not often immediately obvious. Here are some tactics for preventing electrical accidents:

  • Don’t let liquids compromise your electrical safety. It seems obvious but can become a major hassle when trying to oversee a roaring Halloween party. One spilled cup of Halloween punch can spell disaster for an electrical cable.
  • Watch out for extension cables—they are notorious trip hazards. When wiring decorations within your home, consider the traffic of people in the specific area. Extension cables may be easy enough for adults to avoid, but kids may have a bit more difficulty. Consider purchasing a duct cord cover or zip-tying your cables to proper length. Avoid a nasty tumble by making your holiday home more kid friendly.
  • Check your cable’s rated amp and watt maximum. The rating will vary per cable, but if you exceed the limit, the result will be the same. No one wants to deal with an electrical fire, so abide by your cable’s amp and watt ratings, and be safe this Halloween.

Common Wiring Mistakes

If you’re a veteran of the Halloween decoration wiring game, you may think you know how to handle your cables, but no one is immune to error. Avoid these common wiring mistakes to ensure that your Halloween decor extravaganza is truly the best on the street.

  • Don’t connect your cords; it doesn’t end well. By doing so, you are potentially over-stressing your cables. When you over-stress your cables, electrical fires and intermittent shocks are much more likely to occur.
  • Don’t leave your cables out permanently. Extension cables are a great way to light up your holiday decorations, but if you leave your cables out like last year’s Christmas tree, then you may have an electrical fire on your hands.

The bottom line is that extension cables are not meant to be permanent; they can’t replace your house wiring. That being said, they work great on short notice for special events—Halloween parties included.