Top Tips for Keeping Safe with Your Christmas D?cor It’s nearly the holidays, friends, that most delightful time of the year when millions upon millions of families all around the United States resurrect their flashing lights, motorized Santas and other decors, as they get ready for that beloved pastime in December: decorating. Although holiday decorating is mainly about creating a warm and fun atmosphere for a very special season, you have to remember that a lot of our favorite decorations run on electricity. Don’t allow an avoidable accident to rob you of the enjoyment of your holidays by taking time to know these tips on d?cor safety: > When buying for lights and electric decorations, as well as extension cords, get only the ones which are UL-listed.
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> If you intend to decorate outdoors, use only lights and decorations that were created and rated for use outdoors. Indoor-only products exposed outside in the weather can bring electric shock as well as fire hazards.
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> If you’re in doubt whether light strings are made for the outdoors or indoors, just look at the color-coded UL mark on the product’s label – red for both indoor and outdoor and just green for indoor. > Brand-new or used, all electric decorations, especially lights, and extension cords should be checked before being set up. Examine plugs, bulbs and wire insulation. Have any problems professionally checked and fixed before using the d?cor. Note that there are damages that could not be repaired, like those that affect plugs and cords. In such a case, simply discard the d?cor. > Make it a point to unplug lights before replacing fuses, changing bulbs or doing any kind of repair. > If you must replace a bulb in a string of Christmas lights, be sure that the wattage rating of the new bulb matches the light strand’s. If the bulb’s wattage is too high, the light string can overheat and cause a fire. > Avoid electrocution when hanging Christmas lights outdoors by using a ladder made of non-conductive materials, such as wood and fiberglass. > Never use lights and decorations beyond manufacturers’ instructions. > Before you start decorating, check how many light strands will be safe to connect from end to end (rule of thumb is 3). > Avoid overloading extension cords. Always check your extension cord’s wattage rating, making sure the combined power requirements of your lights or decors do not exceed it. Otherwise, the cord can overheat, leading to a fire. > Check your Christmas light wires every now and then to make sure that they’re not warm to the touch. Again, the opposite can cause a fire. > Lastly, turn off all Christmas lights and decors before you go to bed or leave the house.