To ensure a safer holiday season follow
these holiday decorating tips:
- When buying new lights,
strings of lights or other electric decorations make
sure each has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or
Good Housekeeping seal on it. Fixtures with the UL
or Good Housekeeping seal may cost more, but they
have been approved for safety.
- Before installing electric
holiday decorations, inspect all cords and lights
closely. Repair or replace any frayed or bare wires,
loose connections and cracked or broken sockets.
- Make sure every socket on
your strings of lights has a bulb in it, whether it
lights up or not. An empty socket is an invitation
to danger. A piece of metal or a twig from your tree
could complete the circuit and create sparks that
could result in a fire. Empty sockets are also
inviting to children's fingers.
- Don't string lights while
they are plugged in.
- Once your strings of
lights are in good shape, do not plug them into
outlets that are easily overloaded. If, after the
lights are plugged in, a fuse or breaker shuts down
the current in one or more sections of your home,
you have overloaded that circuit. If this happens,
remove some of the load from the circuit or plug the
lights into a circuit that they will not overload.
- Donít run electric wires
in walkways. Put them where nobody can trip over
them or tape them down.
- Use flame-retardant
decorations and keep paper decorations and tinsel
away from hot lights.
- Keep a portable fire
extinguisher close to the tree.
- Never put lights on an
aluminum tree because aluminum is a conductor of
- Use a sturdy stand when
you set up your Christmas tree. If a decorated tree,
loaded with bulbs, falls onto a hard floor, the
bulbs could break and the exposed filament could
ignite the tree.
- Keep your live Christmas
tree in water so it can absorb moisture and reduce
hazards caused by a dry tree. Never place your tree
near heat sources, including heating vents.
- If you decorate your yard
or the outside of your house, use only lights and
cords labeled for outdoors.
- When attaching lights to
the outside of your house, avoid using staple guns.
Use insulated staples instead and hammer them into
- Always use a dry wooden
ladder when installing outdoor decorations. Dry wood
won't conduct an electric current.
- Avoid overhead electrical
lines when decorating outdoors.
- Unplug all decorative
lights, both inside and outside, when leaving home
or going to bed.