Christmas is the happiest time of year for many people, but it can easily go awry if an accident occurs when decorating. Here are some tips that will keep you and your family safe.
Double Check Lights
Don’t take it on blind faith that your lights will operate as well as they did the past year. A pest may get into your ornaments box damaging lights and wires.
Before hanging lights, do a quick check on their condition. Make sure the wire is not frayed or cracked and see to it that no bulbs are missing. If this is the case, they could be a fire hazard and you are best off discarding them.
Be Careful on the Ladder
When it comes to lights, you want to hang ‘em high, but you are taking a risk when you get on a ladder. Before climbing up, make sure the ladder is securely placed on the ground. Keep the ladder and lights away from any overhead power lines.
Check for the UL Stamp
The UL or Underwriters Laboratory stamp means the product has been inspected for safely hazards. It may appear on the bulb, but with smaller Christmas lights, it may be on the packaging or label.
A red UL mark means the lights are safe for indoor and outdoor use. A green UL mark means they are safe for indoor use only.
Use the Right Cords
The extension cords you use should be heavy duty. Use cords that are approved for the intended purpose. For instance, if you are using cords outdoors, make sure they are suitable for outdoor use. Avoid overloading outlets by using no more than three sets of light per cord.
Do Not Hammer Nails into Electrical Wires
Hammering nails into wire will damage the wire increasing the risk of fire or electric shock. Use clips to attach lights to the home instead.
Prevent Placing Cords and Decorations in Places Where They Can Be Walked On
Not only is this a tripping hazard, it can also cause wires to become damaged increasing the risk of a fire occurring.
Be Smart When Placing Indoor Lights
Indoor lights should not be placed near drapes, furniture or carpeting. Be careful to place candles far from flammable objects as well.
Use a Timer That Automatically Turns Off Lights When You Go to Bed
This will decrease the risk of fire hazard and it’s a great way to save energy.
Make Sure to Have GFCI Protection
Outdoor lights and inflatables should be plugged into a GFCI outlet. The outlet will be protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter that will break the circuit if it begins running too hot helping to prevent electric shock.
The tips in this article will help you decorate safely so you and your family can enjoy a happy Christmas. Good look getting your home looking terrific!