It may be the season of wicked witches, creepy crawlers and ghoulish goblins, but they aren’t the only things that can cause a good scare this time of year. The real monsters are the electrical dangers that can occur as the spooky season sets in.

As you enjoy the fall festivities, we want you to be safe and prepared. Follow these safety guidelines to avoid common electrical hazards, and save the screams for the creature features.

  • Check cords before use: Before you begin preparing your own haunted paradise, inspect all lights and other electrical items for frayed cords, damaged wires and faulty plugs. Discard and replace damaged items right away. Make sure all corded items are rated for outdoor use and plugged into circuits protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). Cover any exposed outlets to prevent electric shock.
  • Choose flame-resistant décor and costumes: When it comes to Halloween costumes and decorations, it’s all about make-believe. Where possible, opt for electrical or battery-powered candles instead of traditional flame candles to avoid a fire. Electrical, or LED, candles can be used for indoor and outdoor decorations. Also, look for decorations, costumes and accessories that are made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Secure all wires: This isn’t an 80’s horror film — a trip scene is not in the script. Keep electrical cords out of high-traffic areas to avoid a tripping hazard for trick-or-treaters. Indoors, avoid stretching cords across the room where people and pets can trip over them or become entangled.
  • Unplug your displays: Everything is spookier in the dark, so don’t forget to turn off the lights. Always unplug lights and electric displays before going to bed or while away. Like other appliances, it’s not safe to leave decorative lights and displays on while you’re gone, as they could cause a fire.
  • Beware of downed power lines: Like trying to spot a ghost, seeing a downed power line isn’t always easy. The best way to tell if you may have a downed line in your area is to look up at nearby power lines and see if anything is missing. Be cautious, as lines can be hidden by trees or leaves. If you do encounter a downed line, stay at least 20 feet away and report it to us immediately at dteenergy.com, through the DTE mobile app or by calling 800.477.4747. Don’t wait and assume someone already has.

So, as you stock up on treats, put up your decorations and decide on this year’s costume, keep these tips in mind. Enjoy a spooktacular, safe Halloween season.