Christmas Lighting Safety Tips
The holidays are here, and it’s time to deck our homes, which means putting on your incredible Christmas lights display.
But before you let your holiday cheer take control, remember safety should always come first. Falls, fires, electrocution, and other mishaps can occur and ruin your Christmas if you’re not careful.
According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 200 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season, half of which are accidents involving falls.
Additionally, holiday decorating-related injuries send about 17,500 Americans to the ER every year. So, before you climb that latter with a tangle of lights on one hand, please read our suggested safety tips.
Inspect the Lights Before You Hang Them
Carefully inspect each light string for cracked or frayed cords. Replace any missing, damaged, or burnt-out bulbs.
Make sure your lights are safe for outdoor use. Look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) red stamp that certifies your decorations are safe for outdoor use.
Throw away any damaged strands.
Detangle the strands while on the ground so you won’t have to do it while balancing on a ladder.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to overflow onto your Christmas lights, creating an electrical hazard.
Secure Your Ladder
Secure your ladder and make sure it’s on level ground before you climb it. Always have someone help you by holding the ladder to help keep it stable and minimize the risk of falling.
Place your later in a location that is far away from power lines to avoid electrocution.
Avoid Walking on The Roof
Angled or high-pitched roofs and slippery shingles can turn your holiday decoration installation into a real hazard. Suppose you want to add decorations to your roof. In that case, the best way to go about it is to hire a professional who has the proper tools, equipment, and experience to do it for you.
Use Plastic Safety Clips
Plastic safety clips are inexpensive and easy to use. They are also safer than using tacks or nails to secure hanging lights on the outside of your home. Staples and nails can damage the wires creating a fire hazard.
Use the Right Extension Cords
Only use heavy-duty extension cords that are certified for outdoor use. To avoid overloading your extension cords, don’t exceed more than three sets of lights per extension cord.
Make sure to keep cords out of walkways and secure cables with heavy tape to prevent tripping hazards.
Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
To help prevent electric shock, plug your outdoor lights into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
Use a Timer
Placing your lights on a timer can help lower your electrical bill and prevent your decorations from overheating.
Turn your lights off when you go to bed or leave the house. Never leave your Christmas decorations on while you are not home.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we want you to stay safe and avoid getting this holiday season.
Should the unexpected happen, don’t worry; we will be here to help get you back to health. Our doctors and nurses will have you feeling better in no time so that you can enjoy the holidays at home with your family.