Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas music is playing over every loudspeaker, radios are blasting it 24/7 and the decorations are coming out. Here are some holiday decoration safety tips for you to consider as you launch your holiday cheer:
1. Only use outdoor-approved decorations outside.
While this seems like it should go without saying, sometimes it can be hard to figure out if it’s approved for outdoor use. For lights and other electrical decorations, check for the UL label — it will say. The red labels go on decorations that are approved for outdoor use.
This goes double for any extension cords you might need. Only use outdoor-approved ones outside. Any moisture on electrical equipment that can’t handle it can result in shorts or even fires.
2. Buy only UL-approved lights.
There are cheap Christmas lights out there, but they aren’t inspected for quality assembly and materials. That can present a fire hazard.
3. Inspect lights and cables for damage or fraying before using.
Even new lights or cables can be damaged. Check it all before you set it up and plug it in. Frayed wires catch on fire.
4. Don’t overload power strips or outlets.
Drawing too much power through your wiring generates heat, melts the plastic, and starts fires.
5. Stick to three or less Christmas light strings together.
You can plug one string of Christmas lights into another, which is great if you have a lot of real estate to cover. However, it’s the general rule of thumb that you only want to stick to three, tops.