Deck the Halls and do it safely.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
The holiday season is upon us. It’s the time of year for fun, cheer, and holiday lights! With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s important to keep safety — particularly electrical safety — at the top of your holiday list.
Did you know that nearly 5,000 people visit the emergency room each holiday season due to indoor and outdoor electric decoration mishaps, according to the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission?
Don’t be part of that statistic. Here are six tips, courtesy of Electric Safety Foundation International (EFSI), to keep you safe while decking the halls:
- Check it Twice — Be sure to check strings of lights for broken bulbs, cracked sockets or loose connections. Also check each decoration’s electrical cord to ensure they are not frayed or cut.
- Easy There Clark — When hooking up electrical holiday decorations, don’t overload circuits, outlets, or extension cords with too many plugs. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how many sets of lights can be safely connected. Too many strings can cause a potential overload, which is one of the leading causes of house fires.
- Up on the Rooftop — When stringing up outdoor lights, always use a dry wooden or fiberglass ladder and stay clear of any overhead powerlines. You, your decorations, and your equipment should be at least 10 feet away from powerlines at all times.
- Hang them with Care — When hanging electrical holiday decorations, don’t use nails, screws, tacks, or staples to hang them. Piercing the cord could damage the wire’s insulation and cause electrical shock or fire. Try using plastic or insulated clips instead.
- Home Alone — If you are leaving the house, be sure you turn off your holiday lights and decorations. And do the same when you’re sleeping. Using an automatic timer can make it easier to turn everything off, or on, precisely when you want to.
- Bah Hum-Rug — When decorating indoors, don’t run any extension cords under rugs or carpets. Plus, be sure to discard any older, outdated, or damaged extension cords to help prevent the risk of a fire.
Don’t let something preventable ruin your holiday season. A little bit of preparation can help you make your season bright, and most importantly, safe.