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Safety Tips for Decorating Your Home During the Holidays

Living Room With Christmas Decoration
Decorating the home for the holidays is one part of this special time of the year that many families look forward to. However, before you set up all those holiday decorations, you should be aware of the safety risks associated with decorating that can put a damper on this special time of the year.
Learn some tips for preventing things from going seriously wrong.
Hang Christmas Lights Safely
Hanging Christmas lights from the roof is one of the most popular forms of outdoor holiday decorations. However, roughly 12,000 people end up going to the hospital with injuries due to holiday decorating, and many of those injuries occur from hanging outdoor lights.
Winter weather can come swiftly and leave you dealing with wet surfaces that increase the danger of hanging lights. Therefore, you want to get an early start and hang your lights before the first winter storm approaches.
Harnesses are available that allow you to hang your holiday lights from the roof without putting yourself at risk of falling from the roof or ladder. You can choose from full-body harnesses and 5-point harnesses. These harnesses can be attached to secure beams or vertical lifelines, depending on the model you choose.
Light clips are a great option for hanging lights from the eaves of your roof. You only hang the clips one year. The clips will remain in place after you remove the strands of lights, and in the following years, you slip the light strands back into the clips. The clips cut down on time, frustration, and the risk of falling.
Hang Safe and Energy-Efficient Lights
Verify the electrical cords, lights, and other electric-powered decorations are all approved for outdoor use. Don't decorate the outside of your home with any lights or decorations you bought or received secondhand and can't verify whether they are for outdoor use.
Go over all your lights and decorations each year to look for damaged or frayed cords. If the cords or plugs show any amount of excessive wear or damage, then you don't want to use them indoors or outdoors. Test out your lights and decorations to make sure they all turn on before you go through the trouble of setting them up.
Choose LED lights to decorate all areas of your house with, both on the interior and on the exterior. LED lights are safer because they don't get hot and they will last you longer. LED lights are also more energy efficient, so you won't see large spikes during the months you have your holiday lights lit.
Different styles of LED lights exist, so you can choose ones that give you the look you want for the exterior and then use completely different ones for your holiday tree and other areas of your home's interior.
Unplug your holiday lights at the plug, and then carefully remove strings while wrapping the lights around a piece of cardboard so the lights aren't tangled next year.
Never tug on the lights whether you are taking them down from the eaves or taking them off your holiday tree. Tugging on the string can cause damage to the plug or to the wires, which can pose safety risks the next time you use the lights.
Plug all outside holiday decorations, light strands, and outdoor-approved extension cords into a groundfault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet only. Plugging decorations, light strands, and extension cords into a non-GFCI outlet is very dangerous due to the risk of fire when they encounter water, such as when it rains or snows. Contact us at Nicotri Electric, Inc., if you need one or more GFCI outlets installed.