As Halloween approaches and you decorate the exterior of your home, it’s easy to get lost in the fun and overlook holiday landscaping safety. However, the unfortunate truth is that Halloween decorations can pose serious safety risks if you’re not vigilant. The good news is that best practices for holiday landscaping safety are easy to follow with a little foresight and know-how. With that in mind, here are seven helpful tips for minimizing or eliminating safety risks posed by outdoor Halloween decorations:
- Avoid flammable decorations. As they saying goes, “You can’t start a fire without a spark,” but there’s another factor in the equation: you can’t start a fire if there’s nothing to burn. Keep paper-based, wood-based and straw decorations to a minimum, and if you’re shopping for decorations, inquire about flammability before you buy if you’re uncertain. You should also take extra care to keep your yard clear of dry leaves at this time of year, as they are among the greatest fire hazards you’ll encounter.
- Be safe about sharp objects. Knives can cause serious injuries, so when you’re pumpkin carving, always supervise children when they handle knives and don’t let young children use sharp objects. Instead, have the youngsters help with tasks like drawing the jack-o-lantern’s facial features on the exterior of the pumpkin, or cleaning out the pumpkin’s insides and seeds.
- Reconsider the candles. Instead of real candles, use LED-based lighting sources or battery-operated faux candles. This will greatly diminish fire risks, both indoor and out.
- Ensure electrical safety. If you’re adding Halloween lights to your collection of decorations, be sure to observe proper electrical safety. Be sure you’re not overloading your electrical circuits, check for loose connections and damaged sockets, and never connect any lights with frayed or wayward wires. Also, consider using LED bulbs — they are much cooler when they’re lit, and they also use less energy.
- Keep walkways clear of clutter. Remember that children and their parents or guardians will be streaming to your home in large numbers on Halloween night. Don’t let your decorations impede the walkway.
- Make sure your pathways are clearly lit. While Halloween is a spooky time of year, be sure that visitors can find their way to your front door easily. Keep a bright, unobstructed light burning so that nobody has a hard time making their way up your walkway or steps.
- Get rid of tripping hazards. In addition to keeping clutter off your walkway, you should also do a double check to make sure that no wires or other tripping hazards are posing safety risks. It’s a good idea to allow a couple of extra feet on each side of your walkway; keep decorations and lights well away from paths and driveways and more towards the centre of your yard.
A leading name in landscaping, Calgary-based Mirage Landscaping is here if you need any further holiday landscaping safety tips, or if you require professional landscaping services. Please visit our landscaping Calgary website to learn more.