Decorating is a fun, festive way to celebrate the holiday season. Travelers offers tips to help keep your family and friends safe around your decorative displays.
Planning your Holiday Display
- Plan your display around the number and location of available outlets. Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
- Use lights that have been tested for safety (UL, CSA, ETL). Consider using LED lights as they run cooler, use less energy and last longer.
- Never exceed the maximum number of strings or devices that may be linked together.
- Carefully inspect all lights and decorations for cracks, damaged sockets and loose or bare wires prior to use – these defects can cause a serious fire or shock.
- When decorating the outside of your home, keep yourself, your decorations and equipment at least 10 feet from power lines. Make sure decorations are protected from weather and a safe distance away from flammable items.
- Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when putting up electrical décor and lights outside.
- Unplug electric lights, devices and decorations before installing or replacing bulbs, changing parts or attempting other repairs.
- Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.
- Secure lights, decorations and cords to prevent wind damage. Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extensions cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.
During the Holidays
- Turn off all lights and electrical decorations before leaving your home or office, or going to bed.
- If possible, use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles to avoid the hazards of an open flame. If you choose to light candles, place them away from flammable or combustible materials. Do not put candles in places where they might be easily knocked over, and never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Extinguish all candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
Read the full Travelers article here.