Fright night

Don’t let electrical hazards haunt your Halloween
Fright night

Willie Wiredhand, the mascot of electric cooperatives, encourages all mini-members to be safe this fall! (Photo by Richard G. Biever)

Halloween is the most festively frightening night of the year. But don't make yours fraught with danger! Here are some safety reminders for the holiday:

  • As you're decorating, make sure you check for cracked sockets, frayed, loose or bare wires, and loose connections.
  • Fasten all outdoor lights securely to trees and other firm supports. Do not use nails or tacks that could puncture insulating cords and damage wires.
  • Make sure decorative lighting is well-ventilated, protected from weather, and remains a safe distance from anything flammable like dry leaves and shrubs. Do not coil extension cords while in use or tuck them under rugs or drapes.
  • Make sure all outdoor electrical lights and decorations are plugged into an outlet protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). If your outlets aren't equipped with GFCIs, have an electrician install them or buy a GFCI adapter plug. Don't overload outlets with too many extension cords and strands of lights.
  • Keep power cords off walkways and porches that trick-or-treaters may use. You don't want them to trip.
  • Leave the porch light on for trick-or-treaters, and be sure to turn out all spooky lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. This will also save energy.

For more tips, visit www.SafeElectricity.org.

Trick-or-treat safety tips

  • Knives, swords and similar accessories should be soft, short and flexible.
  • Wear well-fitting costumes to avoid tripping and falling.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes and bags so drivers see you.
  • Hold a flashlight to help you see and so that others see you.
  • Walk, don't run, from house to house.
  • Don't ever enter a home unless you are with a trusted adult.
  • Examine all candy for tampering before eating. Eat only factory-made (not homemade) sweets with unbroken wrappers.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
  • Wear flame-resistant costumes.
  • Never walk close to lit candles or luminaries.

Fang-tastic festivities in N.C.

Do you prefer your children eat, drink and be scary at organized events instead of traditional-style trick-or-treating? Or simply want to find a frightfully fun event for your family to enjoy? There are loads of festivities in the state to choose from. Local YMCAs and churches often hold parties and festivals. For haunted houses, get a list of "Hallo-scream" sites by searching "North Carolina" at www.hauntedhouse.com. The state's three Aquariums (Fort Fisher near Wilmington, Pine Knoll Shores near Atlantic Beach and Roanoke Island in Manteo) are holding Trick or Trick Under The Sea events. Call the main office in Raleigh at (800) 832-3474, search online by site name, or visit www.ncaquariums.com. Ghost walks and tours include ones in Wilkesboro, Wilmington, Washington, Salisbury, Davidson and Elizabeth City. Check our magazine's Carolina Compass section and visit our Calendar of Events or go to www.visitnc.com for more about Halloween events.

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