Why Lighting Aren’t As Bad As You Think

Tips for Safe Christmas Decorating It’s almost the holidays, people, that most anticipated time of the year when millions of families across America resurrect decors, flickering lights and electronic Santas from their basements and garages, and prepare for that favorite December activity: decorating. Though holiday decorating is essentially about building an atmosphere of warmth and fun during this very special season, you need to take note that several of our favorite decorations are electrically operated. Stop a needless accident from taking the enjoyment out of your holidays by learning the following tips on d?cor safety: > Buy online UL-listed lights, electric decors and extension cords
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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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> When in doubt about whether or not light strings are rated for outdoor or indoor use, inspect the product’s package and look for the color-coded UL mark – green for indoor and red for both indoor and outdoor. > 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 that case, discard the product. > Always unplug the lights before doing any repairs. > If you have to replace some bulbs in a string of Christmas lights, make sure their wattage rating is a match to that of the light strand. Overheating and fire can result when the bulb’s wattage is too high. > Instead of a metal ladder, use something made of wood, fiberglass or any non-conductive material to avoid electrocution while hanging lights outdoors. > Lights and decorations should only be used according to 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). > Be conscious about overloading extension cords. Do not plug anything in unless you have checked the wattage rating of your extension cord, which should be higher than your lights and decors’ combined power requirements. Otherwise, the cord can overheat and cause a fire. > Christmas light wires should be check from time to time to make sure they are cool to the touch. Again, a fire can occur otherwise. > Lastly, turn off all your lights and decorations before you retire for the night or leave the house.