There’s nothing more festive and beautiful then a house lit up with Holiday Lights this time of year. There’s also nothing more hazardous if your not careful. So, before you “deck the halls” there’s a few things you need to know:
Before Hanging the Lights
Get rid of old strands of lights. Modern lights are safer because they have fused plugs that prevent sparks in case of a short circuit.
Only use lights that have been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Intertel (ETL Semko).
Check for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to electrical shorts.
Replace any bulbs that have burned out with new bulbs of the same wattage.
Before hanging lights, make sure you are hanging them in the environment that they are intended for.
Avoid hanging lights near items that possess any potential fire safety hazards, such as heaters, candles, fire places etc.
Make sure bulbs are out of the way of flammable materials such as loose paper.
Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights. Use insulated hooks instead.
Do not link more than three light strands unless the directions indicate it’s safe to do so.
Once the lights are in Place
Check the quality and length of extension cords. Do not try and use extension cords for more wattage then they are designed to accommodate.
If outside, make sure your using outdoor extension cords. The same goes for indoors usage.
When running extensions cords along the ground, elevate cords and connectors with a brick or other device to keep out debris.
Keep placement of extension cords in mind. It’s important that they are not at risk of pulling over other decorations.
Tape extension cords down to avoid someone tripping over them.
Do not leave lights on when your house is unattended or when everyone is asleep.
If a bulb burns out replace it immediately.
Make sure you periodically check the wires, they should not be warm to the touch.
If your putting lights on a tree, make sure that tree is well watered.
Never put lights on a metal tree.
A Few Other Notes…
Be very careful to place lights out of the reach of children.
When hanging lights in your office, make sure that your decorations of fully compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
When you put your lights back into storage make sure they are in a well-sealed container to prevent water damage.
Everyone at LPL Risk Management wishes you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy, & Safe Holiday Season!