Halloween for Homeowners - Scary shouldn't mean dangerous!

Home Inspector with Mid America Inspection Services, LLC North Dakota 19 & 93

Halloween for Homeowners - Scary shouldn't mean dangerous!

As a home inspector in the Fargo and Moorhead area I spend a lot of time looking at the exterior of homes. With Halloween approaching the process of inspecting the landscaping, siding and roof of a home involves a lot of stepping over, under and sometimes through elaborate holiday decorations.

During a recent home inspection in West Fargo I came across several inflatable lawn ornaments. These are more common nowadays and typically require power from the house. The ornaments are very cool but it was the extension cords that caught my eye and almost my feet. Extension cords present a real trip hazard and should be either secured to the ground or colored brightly to help alert passersby. The cord, running about 25 feet to an exterior outlet, was frayed and repaired with duct tape. Another extension cord ran under the garage side door and was plugged in inside. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are about 4,000 injuries annually associated with extension cords. These injuries can range from tripping to serious electric shocks. Make sure your extension cords are undamaged, plugged in to exterior outlets only and clearly visible to help prevent possible accidents.

At another inspection of a home in Moorhead I saw several Jack-o-Lanterns sitting on the front steps. The pumpkins had a melted look and the tops were covered with black soot from candles. These days you can purchase inexpensive LED lights or glow sticks to replace the traditional candles and spare yourself and your home from a possible fire hazard.

Fargo and Moorhead experience high winds throughout the year. Its a good idea to make sure any decorations you have outside ,such as lights or lawn ornaments, are safely secured. You don't want wake up one morning and find your carefully placed spooky decorations wrapped around your neighbors truck!

Take a few minutes to check the decorations on the outside of your home and you can have a scary but safe Halloween.

Mid-America Inspection Services, serving Fargo and West Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Wadena and the Minnesota Lakes Region

 218-443-3555, 320-846-0004, 218-287-0877, 218-841-0444

Sara Garden
Rocky Mountain Home Staging - Boulder, CO
MBA, HSE, HSR, APSD, Home Stager

Great tips - lots of those decorations seem fine until you think about little goblins running across the lawn or up the steps or a high wind.

Oct 28, 2011 11:43 AM
Didi Doolittle
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, Eagle Office - Vail, CO
Vail, CO Realtor 970.232.8225

Yikes, I'd hate to see anyone injured by holiday decorations!  Good advice.

Oct 28, 2011 12:02 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Marshall, extension cords are the duct tape of electricity---they get used as permanent solutions too all kinds of things.

Oct 29, 2011 03:13 AM