By Paul Netter
ENERGIZED by Edison Writer
Smart and careful decisions about candles, costumes and decorations are crucial to combatting electrical and fire accidents.
In Southern California, there’s no business like show business, but the Halloween business is scary good too.
Surpassing even pre-pandemic levels, a record $10.6 billion expected to be spent this year on the fall celebration — including $3.6 billion on costumes and $3.4 billion on decoration — guarantees that.
But to help ensure the safest spooky celebration, all those ghoulish costumes and decorations must be worn, installed and maintained safely to prevent electrical and fire accidents, injuries and property damage.
Southern California Edison joins fire departments and public safety officials nationwide in encouraging smart and careful decisions with electrically powered decorations, animatronics and more that create the perfect Halloween ambiance — and unnecessary hazards.
“It is crucial that you look for, and more importantly, eliminate potential hazards from your Halloween decorations and costumes,” said Nicole Kraus, senior advisor of Enterprise Risk Management & Public Safety at SCE. “For instance, damaged lights and worn cords should be replaced, costumes and decorations should be flame-resistant, and burning candles — a major fire risk — are best replaced by flameless candles. Decorations and costumes should always be chosen with safety in mind.”
That safety would clearly preclude wearing flammable, billowy, long-flowing costumes near burning candles or jack-o’-lanterns illuminated by them. The same applies to those candles near highly flammable decorations like skeletons and ghosts. With California in peak wildfire season and nearly half of the estimated 800 annual home decoration fires beginning with décor too close to a heat source, flameless candles and glow sticks are safest for enhancing any decorations.
Decorators outdoors on rooftops and ladders should always beware of power lines, staying at least 10 feet away from them when placing light strands or cords onto homes or into trees or vegetation.
Candles and power lines are only two of the many potential problems posed by costumes and decorations.