December 5, 2013 | Barb Carr

TapRooT® Holiday Tip: Deck the Halls… Safely (Part 1)

Many people begin decorating for the winter holidays the day after Thanksgiving. As you string your lights up and dust off those plastic trees, keep these tips in mind from the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Electrical Safety

  1. Inspect your strands of lights and extension cords for damage.
  2. Attach them securely, but never nail or staple them.
  3. Extinguish all candles and unplug all lights when you leave a room or go to bed.
  4. Never use a hot extension cord.
  5. Consider battery-operated candles.
  6. Always purchase electronics from a reputable retailer.
  7. Always inspect cords for damage before plugging them in.
  8. Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
  9. Never connect more than three strands of lights together.
  10. Always unplug lights before changing a bulb.
  11. Consider LED lights, they use less energy and run cooler.
  12. Insert plugs all the way into the wall.
  13. Don’t run cords through walls or ceilings.
  14. Extension cords are only for temporary use. Make sure they are rated for the proper use, indoor or outdoor.
  15. Christmas tree and holiday décor fires result in twice the injuries and five times for fatalities per fire than the average winter holiday fire.

Fall Safety

  1. 5,800 people per year are treated in emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. Over half are ladder or roof falls.
  2. Inspect ladders for missing screws, hinges, bolts, and nuts.
  3. Use wooden or fiberglass ladders, as metal ladders conduct electricity.
  4. Use the right ladder height, ensuring that your ladder extends at least three feet past the edge of the roof.
  5. Be sure to tape extension cords down, or refrain from placing them in places where someone could trip on them.
  6. Over 4,000 injuries per year are associated with extension cords. Half of these are due to tripping over an extension cord.

Tune in next week for Child Safety and Fire Safety tips for the holidays.

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