The time is here where you and your neighbors are outside decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving and best of all Christmas! It’s important to remember while you’re getting into the festive spirit that safety should be on your mind at all times. This article, Five Tips to Keep You Safe While Decorating will prepare you for some of the most common issues people face while decorating.
1. Make sure all lights and wires are thoroughly tested
Before climbing up on the house or pulling out the ladder, careful inspect the light strands to ensure all wiring and lights are intact. A simple spark in the middle of the night can lead to a very serious issue. Throw away any strands or extension cords that show any visible damage.
2. Never overload power outlets with too many plugs
Have you ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase? This is a text book no-no! Ratios of light strands to plugs can vary by lighting and wattage type so please refer to a professional for more information. Additionally you’ll always want to tape your plugs if you’re using a surge protector or extension cord to ensure the plugs do not come apart and reduce any sparking. Most important of all, never use any plugs in and or around water.
3. Indoor lights are not for outdoor operation
Be aware when you’re buying and installing lights that you’re using the right ones. Indoor lights are not rated for outdoor use and will not have the same outdoor protection that outdoor lighting has. Make sure that the plugs you’re using to plug in your outdoor lights are GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) protected.
4. Be careful on heights over knee level
Falling a short distance can cause serious injury and the higher the elevation the farther the fall. When you’re ready to install lights or decorations on anything above your reach make sure to inspect the hardware your using whether it be ladders, step-stool, etc. After a careful check of your tools and hardware make sure to place the ladder or stool on solid, level ground. Make sure that the space you’ll be working in is free of debris or anything that might catch clothing like snagged nail or protruding screws. These little items can cause you to get snagged while reaching and throw you off your balance so be careful!
5. Lights are not for year-round use
Many people choose to leave their holiday lights up year-round but did you know that doing that is actually a fire hazard? The casing of the electrical wires in the light strands are rated for outdoor use but most are not rated for full time outdoor use. This means strands must normally be removed and then thoroughly tested and inspected for damage caused by elements before using again.
Decorating is always fun but please be careful. For more information or questions about our article Five Tips to Keep You Safe While Decorating please contact us or leave a comment below.