We all enjoy decorating the inside of our homes with lights and plug-in decorations for the Holiday season. They create a cheerful atmosphere, add sparkle to Christmas trees and foster the imagination of children of all ages.
However, they can increase the risks of fire and electrical injuries if not used safely so please review the following tips for safer indoor decorating:
- Always purchase electrical decorations and lights from reputable retailers.
- Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together.
- Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
- Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly.
- Consider replacing standard outlets with Tamper-Resistant (TR) Outlets, which are designed for child safety. TR Outlets have a shutter mechanism inside the outlet which blocks access to the contacts unless a two-prong plug is inserted.
- Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
- Follow the manufacturer’s use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
- Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
- Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
- Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
- Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep