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1. If you are not comfortable working with electricity outdoors, simply do NOT use props powered by electricity!See these Safety Guidelines.
2. Use common sense! Don't be testing your electrical gear if there is any rain coming down or ANY moisture on the gear. In fact, setting up the gear when you can see it ---on a clear, dry DAY is the safe way.
3. Use GFCI protected, grounded electrical outlets to supply power to ALL your outdoor gear. You can buy add-on GFCI setups for temporary use.
4. When OUTDOORS--use lights, bulbs, sockets, extension cords, timers, cube taps, etc. that are rated for OUTDOOR use. For those of you who don't know---indoor light bulbs will literally shatter when hit by rain. Don't try this at home!
5. Don't leave extension plugs or any electrical gear where they will be sitting in a puddle of water. Any connection points should be kept as dry as possible. E.g. If you are hanging up lights in a tree, then make sure the water would drip away from the connection to the extension cord. Even in a pouring rainstorm, this will be safer.
6. If you must make "wire to wire" electrical connections for outdoor use, then use something that will make the connection waterproof, such as heat shrink wrap tubing that is made for insulation. This stuff is available at most hardware stores. Then, wrap that with electrical tape for an extra measure. Alternately, you can use wire nuts. Just make sure you put a dab of silicon caulk in the wire nut ---or cover tightly with electrical tape to make the connection waterproof.
7. Construct and test all electrical gear INDOORS first. And double check and triple check that you have disconnected the power when testing and adjusting components!