Holiday lighting safety tips - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Holiday lighting safety tips

(Toledo News Now) -

Seasonal decorations, including lights, trees and wreaths, can help put your household in the holiday spirit. But when not used properly, decorations, especially lights, can create safety hazards and cause fires.

Outdoor Lighting Safety

-Check all lights for frayed wires or areas where insulation has pulled away from plugs or sockets. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.

-Take extra care using a ladder to install lights. Avoid contact with overhead wires and make sure the ladder is placed on solid, level ground that isn't slippery.

-Ensure that tacks or nails used to hold light strings do not pierce any insulation on wires or light sockets.

-Use only extension cords that are approved for outdoor use. These cords must meet rigorous safety standards that indoor cords may not meet.

-Outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations should be plugged into outlets protected by ground fault interrupters.

-Place outdoor lights on a timer or turn them off before you go to bed.

Indoor Lighting Safety

-Inspect all light strings and cords for any damage, including frayed wires or insulation that has pulled away from light sockets or plugs. Also check for chewing or scratching damage if you have pets in the house. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.

-Live trees should be kept well-watered.

-No more than three strings of standard indoor lights should be connected to any extension cord.

-Make sure cords are placed where they won't be stepped on, kinked or pose a tripping hazard.

-Lights should not be permitted to touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.

-Lights should be turned off overnight and when no one is home.

Additionally, if you have children in your home, use safety caps on all electrical outlets that are not in use to prevent shock. Keep sharp objects out of reach, as well as items that could be swallowed.

By taking the proper precautions both inside and outside of your home, you can prevent hazards and focus on friends and family during the holidays. Don't forget to periodically check lights and decorations throughout the season to ensure they continue to operate safely.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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