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Tips for Safe Christmas Decorating It’s nearly the holidays, friends, that most delightful time of the year when millions upon millions of families all around the United States resurrect their flashing lights, motorized Santas and other decors, as they get ready for that beloved pastime in December: decorating. Although holiday decorating is mainly about creating a warm and fun atmosphere for a very special season, you have to remember that a lot of our favorite decorations run on electricity. Stop a needless accident from taking the enjoyment out of your holidays by learning the following tips on d?cor safety: > When buying for lights and electric decorations, as well as extension cords, get only the ones which are UL-listed.
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> If the plan is to decorate outdoors, don’t use lights and decorations that are not rated for this type of use. Indoor-only products exposed outside in the weather can bring electric shock as well as fire hazards.
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> If you’re not sure as to whether light strings are rated for outdoor or indoor use, just look at the color-coded UL mark on the product’s label – green for indoor only 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. The bulbs, wire insulation and plugs should be examined carefully. 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. > Make it a point to unplug lights before replacing fuses, changing bulbs or doing any kind of repair. > Should you have to replace a bulb on a line of Christmas lights, first check if the new bulb’s rating is a match to the light strand’s. Overheating and fire can result when the bulb’s wattage is too high. > To avoid electrocution, use ladders made of non-conductive materials (for instance, fiberglass or wood) when hanging Christmas lights outdoors to avoid electrocution. > Never deviate from manufacturer’s instructions when using lights and decorations. > Before decorating, check how how many strands of lights can be safely connected end-to-end (the general rule is 3). > Check that extension cords are not overloaded. 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, leading to a fire. > Christmas light wires must stay cool to the touch, so check yours from time to time. Again, a fire can occur otherwise. > Lastly, turn off all your lights and decorations before you retire for the night or leave the house.