Top Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Tips for the Holiday Season
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, cold weather, snowflakes and piping hot cups of cocoa, the holiday season is here, along with a popular consumer pastime: Decorating. Whether you’re staging an elaborate outdoor lighting display or decorating your Christmas tree with electric lights, avoid fires and other mishaps with these smart tips.
According to a 2011 holiday survey conducted by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), nearly one quarter of consumers fail to “thoroughly check their electrical holiday decorations and extension cords for damage before use.” Is this you? This season, take the time to:
- Purchase lights “that bear the mark of a recognized certification agency,” such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories, an independent, non-profit organization that tests and rates electrical products for consumer safety);
- Read package instructions thoroughly;
- Note that some decorations are only safe for indoor or outdoor lighting use… but not both; and
- Inspect electric decorations and cords for insulation damage and broken bulbs before use
Holiday Decorating & Indoor / Outdoor Lighting Tip #2 – Trim the Tree Safely
For many, live Christmas trees add a special touch to the holiday season. Before you trim your tree:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles, firmly attached to the branches;
- Cut away several inches of trunk to expose fresh, water-absorbent wood;
- Read manufacturer’s lighting instructions;
- Connect no more than three strands of lights, end-to-end; and
- Place your tree at least three feet away from fireplaces, candles and electronic heating devices
Taking these precautions will make your tree less likely to catch fire. Also, if using a ladder to hang electric decorations in high places:
- Wear rubber-soled shoes to avoid slips and falls; and
- Opt for ladders made of wood or non-conductive materials, such as plastic, to avoid accidental electrocution
Holiday Decorating & Indoor / Outdoor Lighting Tip #3 – Avoid Circuit Overload
Sadly, the majority of electrical fires occur during the winter months (December and January), due to home heating devices and holiday decorations. For large, outdoor lighting displays or heavy, power-drawing electronic devices, learn to compute kilowatt usage and estimated energy consumption costs here.
Lastly, never hang electronic decorations near flammable materials or open flames, and be sure to turn off holiday lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
‘Tis the season to be jolly… and safe Don’t allow a preventable accident to take the joy out of your holiday celebrations. Contact 1-888-burnt-out? for holiday electrical safety tips, to keep you and your family safe.
Click here to downloaad PDF of this Article