Holiday lights and electrical decorations create holiday cheer both inside and outside the home, but they can also create fire hazards and electrical shock risks if they are not handled properly.
Researching electrical safety tips are probably not on your holiday planning list, but it should be! The Home Safety Council recommends taking the following precautions while decorating your home this year:
Inspect holiday lights and extension cords before decorating. Replace any that are fraying or otherwise damaged. Pay special attention to lights, cords or decorations that may have been damaged from winter weather conditions.
Check for red or green UL marks on all light strings and extension cords. The green holographic UL Mark means the light strings should be used only indoors. The red holographic UL Mark indicates the light strings can be used both inside and out, and can withstand conditions related to outdoor use.
Follow manufacturer's guidelines for stringing light sets together. As a general rule, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recommends using no more than three standard-size sets of lights together.
Do not overload extension cords or electrical receptacles.
Unplug all holiday lights when you go to sleep or leave home.
Automatic lighting timers can be used to ensure that lights are not left on. These are available for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Roll up excess electrical cords and keep them away from high traffic areas. Do not run electrical cords under rugs.
Never keep an extension cord plugged in when it is not in use.
When replacing a light bulb, make sure that the replacement bulb is of equal or lesser wattage than that recommended by the manufacturer.
If you have children in your home, use safety caps on all electrical receptacles.
When holiday planning, make safety a priority!
Provided by The Home Safety Council (HSC), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages about home safety. HSC provides educational resources for teachers, policy makers, corporations as well as fire and life safety experts to help educate and empower families to take actions that will increase the safety of their homes.report abuse