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I use Sockit Boxes to make connections between extension cords but I wondered how people keep visitors (uninvited ones) from tripping over cords? Really I am looking for reassurance that there isn't some solution I have overlooked ....

What we do is try to run cords in places people shouldn't be walking - like under the cemetery fence or behind tombstones. Exposed cords are stapled down with 4" landscape staples every 8-10" that are tapped in the ground with a hammer to get the cord TIGHT to the ground. Most of these are green, but some thinner ones are white (leading from the solar panels to the solar spotlights).

There is one big orange cord that crosses the yard from the house to the display, I staple that down as well but not as tightly because it is orange and I was running out of staples and if you are this close to my house you better have girl scout cookies on you.

But ... any solutions besides stapling the wires down? I see tracks you can lay over the cords but they seem pretty expensive. Is there a DIY version that is as good but a lot less money? This is most of the yard, missing the stuff in front of the house but the porch column you see is where power comes from. We bring a big line from the porch to the tree, then run smaller lines from there.

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People shouldn't be in our yard so I just run the cords, cover with leaves as much as possible and let it be. We have a horse fence around the yard and live on a highway with no sidewalks so we just don't get people coming through the yard.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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If you're running them mostly inside a fenced area, that's like 99% of the problem taken care of. Fenced areas = no foot traffic.

I'm a big fan of running cords over a walkway (either using an archway or up a tree and then zip-tied roughly out of arm reach height) but if that's an absolute no go, I'd suggest using duct tape to tape securely down across sidewalk areas, clearly marked with florescent marker/coloring so folks see the potential tripping hazard, or using heavy mats taped/secured down well if you absolutely have to run a cord across a walkway.

From the looks of things in your photo tho - if you already run the main cord from porch to tree (overhead) and the areas where there are cords are fenced off, then you're fine as far as I can tell.


The only real suggestion would be to maybe take a look at your fence if you're super concerned or had issues in the past with folks ignoring the barrier. I have a thin white wire fence around my yard that isn't able to be crawled under (adults could step over as it's only 3 ft tall, but no one has in all the years I've been setting it up). Again, I don't think there's anything at all wrong with your setup but if you're worried, adding another line of chain to your chain fence so it looks more imposing as a fence or even getting a more standard "old cemetary" looking one might be a option. I personally tried dark colors but switched to the white wire as I wanted a visible barrier even when the lights were out and it's thin enough to not block the view.

 

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I’ll be using jack o lantern lawn bags and twine with reflective tape spaced along it to make an impromptu barrier to keep kids from taking a shortcut through my yard and over the trip hazards.

Path lights should make the area where I want people pretty obvious.

Good call on the landscaping staples. I use them to keep my props in place, but failed to consider that they could clean up the cord appearances.

I use plenty of electrical tape to seal up the joins in my extension cords and outlets. Outlet boxes are probably a better idea.
 

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The rubber cord cover things, frankly, just made the cords into more of a trip hazard. Absolutely not worth it.

Behind a fence is best, and I put lights on my fence to make it extra obvious. If I need to cross the walkway with a power cord, it goes beneath the raised section or over the top of a structure.

Doesn't have to be full-on fence, there are options: stanchions with chain or rope, stacked log "fence", string lights, wall o' pumpkins, sticks, spiderweb, caution tape - whatever it takes.

Important haunter lesson in safety: never rely on anything being obvious. If in doubt, block their access. "I'm the only one at this house who gets to trip over my electrical cords." Hence, my entire walk-though path is fenced in.

Beyond the fence, I don't bother tacking the cords down in any way. But my stuff isn't out there all that long, either.
 

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The rubber cord cover things, frankly, just made the cords into more of a trip hazard. Absolutely not worth it.

Behind a fence is best, and I put lights on my fence to make it extra obvious. If I need to cross the walkway with a power cord, it goes beneath the raised section or over the top of a structure.

Doesn't have to be full-on fence, there are options: stanchions with chain or rope, stacked log "fence", string lights, wall o' pumpkins, sticks, spiderweb, caution tape - whatever it takes.

Important haunter lesson in safety: never rely on anything being obvious. If in doubt, block their access. "I'm the only one at this house who gets to trip over my electrical cords." Hence, my entire walk-though path is fenced in.

Beyond the fence, I don't bother tacking the cords down in any way. But my stuff isn't out there all that long, either.

Totally spot on! One of my neighbors who I posed this question to (personal injury attorney) says the same thing, is to block the access. He said, the homeowner should make the "reasonable" attempt to restrict access to the area (fence, signs, etc). All the ideas above are great ideas. That being said, our neighbors have made a PVC fence staked to the ground with fencing stakes, another used a fence post stake (green version at Home Depot) and PVC poultry fencing decorated with lights. I have yet to see anyone cross over the over their yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, everyone. I have a boatload of yellow CAUTION tape, I will use that to mark off the keep-out zones. That is a good idea to make it more visible about what is off limits. Especially on Halloween night when the fog machine is going. Running cords makes me really appreciate the solar lights!
 

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We usually just run the cords along walls/fencing wherever possible. There is one section in the front where one cord cuts through like half the yard with no walls/fences and we've had some kids cut through the yard before so we basically bury the cord slightly. I just make a slit in the grass about one inch deep using a shovel then stuff the cord in.
 

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The Haunting Girl
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I haven't finished my fence at all, but it hasn't been a problem thankfully. I have a chain fence running across my entire front lawn. I also have path lighting up my walkway. Between the two it's fairly obvious that ToTs should just come up the walkway and not run across my yard. I have considered either making more fence poles or just using caution tape to block the sides of my yard along the two driveways, but like I said it hasn't been an issue yet.
As for cord safety, I've pinned all of my cords down. It looks nicer and makes it safer for myself, my landlords, and helpers to cross the yard when needed. I've actually started mapping out where cords will be going so I know exactly how many I need and which ones will work best for each run. I try to minimize the number of cords and connections needed. Like I usually have everything in the bushes in the front and then a single cord run to the front of each side and then it splits from there. The less non-haunt stuff in the yard the better.
 

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Prince of Arkham Asylum
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It looks to me like your yard haunt has grown beyond the post and chain barrier. You have quite a bit going on in your yard (and looks great btw) that if you have the storage space, it may be time for a more solid fence. Depending on how you design it, It can take up some space, but not too bad. The one I built (over 120 ft of fencing) takes up about 4ft by 8ft of storage space in the garage attic. It's extremely effective. No one has ever entered uninvited. It'd be really hard for them to get in without causing extensive damage...

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It's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
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I keep the main section of the yard with all the props fenced in, not only does this protect the cords and the props from the people, it also protects the people from the props as some can be heavy. I've collected quite of few of the 3-8 plug ground stakes so most of the connections are up off the ground. I do need to cross 2 paths, one used by us, and one by guests. For one I actually ran a long cord up the tree and over. For the Guest area, it is tucked away in the corner of the front step. When everything is fully set, I'll put a strip or two of duck tape over it, and possibly a mat to both hide it and protect it. The duct tape doesn't last long but it's good enough for Halloween night.

The fencing becomes part of the scene. Make it creepy and cool, It is a great place for webs ghouls and other stuff to hand off of, and it even provides a great place to mount lighting that you don't want on the ground.

I have one small section with some props to interact with, like a Guillotine and a set of stocks. Those are outside the fencing and either have no lighting, or use solar/battery operated lights to avoid the need for cords.
 

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For one of my display areas I have to cross the driveway. I wish I had a better temporary solution for those cords (two of them). What we are going to do next year is pull power out to our display areas (we are upgrading power to the shop anyway). This will give me better access to power for both Halloween and Christmas and cut down on the number of cords needed and the length that needs run.
 

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For one of my display areas I have to cross the driveway. I wish I had a better temporary solution for those cords (two of them). What we are going to do next year is pull power out to our display areas (we are upgrading power to the shop anyway). This will give me better access to power for both Halloween and Christmas and cut down on the number of cords needed and the length that needs run.
That was one of the reasons I built my columns and cemetery sign. It spans the driveway and the cords that go to the center section of the yard fit into the arch.
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing Blades006 said. Burying your cords a couple of inches is the safest way to go if you can't go up and over or go under something.

Something that a lot of us who put out decor should think about doing is having outdoor outlets installed in our yards, in places where they are hidden and not a trip hazard. I have a pair of those tall yard lamps next to the main sidewalk. My hubby had to run power to the lamps, so he also installed an outlet on the base of one of the lamp posts. I am going to ask him if he could install an outlet on the other lamp post. Once I get my front porch built and redo my pathways and some flower beds I will have him install outlets in a few more places. This will help eliminate the need for long cords running all over the yard. If you have room in your breaker panel you could put the yard outlets on their own separate breakers. I know that adding outlets sounds costly, but it would be a lot cheaper than having someone trip over cords and get hurt on your property.
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing Blades006 said. Burying your cords a couple of inches is the safest way to go if you can't go up and over or go under something.

Something that a lot of us who put out decor should think about doing is having outdoor outlets installed in our yards, in places where they are hidden and not a trip hazard. I have a pair of those tall yard lamps next to the main sidewalk. My hubby had to run power to the lamps, so he also installed an outlet on the base of one of the lamp posts. I am going to ask him if he could install an outlet on the other lamp post. Once I get my front porch built and redo my pathways and some flower beds I will have him install outlets in a few more places. This will help eliminate the need for long cords running all over the yard. If you have room in your breaker panel you could put the yard outlets on their own separate breakers. I know that adding outlets sounds costly, but it would be a lot cheaper than having someone trip over cords and get hurt on your property.

This is what I plan on doing. We are upgrading the power to my shop next year, which gives me the opportunity to put in a big enough panel to run some outdoor outlets in strategic locations. I like the idea of putting them on lamp posts.....
 

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This is what I plan on doing. We are upgrading the power to my shop next year, which gives me the opportunity to put in a big enough panel to run some outdoor outlets in strategic locations. I like the idea of putting them on lamp posts.....
When I moved in, I installed two banks of outlets in the front yard, plus another up in the eaves so I could plug in Christmas lights.
 

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I try to run behind fencing, but in a few spots I use a spade to a small line across the yard. I wiggle the spade back and forth enough to be able to wedge the extension cord down into the groove without removing any dirt. I can go down a couple inches with little trouble, and after I remove the cord, the gap closes on its own.
 

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Fence, plastic chain, caution tape, & flagged rope off areas work great. I typically collect branches, leaves, & pine straw when it’s getting close to setup time. After running all the wires and everything is complete, I then lay out all the branches and cover it all with leaves and pine straw. It makes it look old and the branches help create shadows.
 
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