|Bright Ideas for Safe Lighting This Season|
|Library of Articles - Holidays/Lights & Decorating|
Sparkling lights and dazzling decorations are hallmarks of the season. Make sure your holiday decorating is done with safety in mind.
“We’ve all read about tragedies resulting from holiday lighting mishaps. Safeguard yourself and your home so that you’re not among those," says Molly Hall, executive director of Safe Electricity.
Use only holiday lights that have been safety tested and have the UL label. Before decorating, check each light strand for broken sockets, frayed cords, or faulty plugs. Always be sure to unplug the lights when replacing a bulb. Don’t string together more than three standard-size sets of lights or you could risk overheating the circuit.
Outdoors, use only lights, cords, animated displays and decorations rated for outdoor use. Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with GFCI’s. Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them.
Take extra care not to throw strings of lights over tree branches that are near power lines and service connections.
Safe Electricity offers these additional tips for safe holiday decorating:
“Overloaded electrical systems are a major cause of fire,” warns Hall. “Flickering or dimming lights and monitors, sparks from appliances or outlets, and wall plates, plugs, or cords that are warm to the touch are warning signs that demand immediate attention.”
If you spot an electrical danger, make sure to unplug the malfunctioning appliance immediately and get a replacement.
Holiday cooking and entertaining should also be undertaken with safety in mind. More than 30% of home fires and injuries are caused by cooking, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Follow these tips to avoid shocks or fires:
Safe Electricity wishes you and yours a bright, safe holiday season!