Holiday Lighting and Decoration Safety
The winter holidays are a time for celebration which means more cooking, home decorating, and entertaining. How is this going to look this year with our new friend Covid, who knows? However, I wanted to give a few safety ideas. Here are some tips to help you choose holiday lighting and decorations that will keep you and your family safe from the increased risk of fire and accidents associated with holiday decorating.
If you don’t feel like reading all of the tips below, consider just watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and basically do everything OPPOSITE of what Chevy Chase does to his home.
I will offer one free tip before we begin. Working on roofs and ladders can be very dangerous. Before putting yourself in a bad situation where you can hurt yourself, please consider asking for help or looking for other decorating options that may suit you and your home better.
Don’t overload extension cords. Instructions on boxes oftentimes say how many strands may safely be strung together. LED lighting will often allow more than incandescent, but should be checked prior to usage.
Mount lights in any way that won’t damage the cord's wire insulation. Use hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Use care when it is time to remove lights and don’t pull or tug lights to remove them.
Inspect lights for frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections to make sure all of the bulbs work.
Outdoor lighting should be plugged into outlets that are GFCI protected to avoid potential shocks. Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
Use caution and thoroughly inspect electric lighting being put on a metallic tree. Faulty lights can cause the tree to become charged with electricity and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
Check labels before using lights outdoors to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
When possible, choose decorations that are made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant and non-combustible materials such as tinsel and artificial icicles of plastic and non-leaded metals.
Don’t use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
If you have small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp and breakable, and keep decorations with small removable parts out of the reach of children.
Avoid trimmings that resemble candy and food that may tempt a young child to put them in his mouth.
If you have any questions about electrical safety or need an evaluation for how ready your home is for the upcoming winter months, feel free to contact us at (719)203-7177.