Safety Tips For Installing Christmas Decorations

Go all out with Christmas decorations this year while keeping your home fire- and hazard-free


No one wants a festive season to end in disaster. Ironically, it is during Christmas when the risk of fires, burns, and electric shock run high, but this doesn't mean you should skip the tree and trimmings this holiday season! Keep your home safe without sacrificing your annual tradition of going all-out with decor with these ideas. 

Christmas Lights 

The heat generated by bulbs may come in contact with flammable materials such as curtains, area rugs, and certain plastics such as those found in artificial trees. When the insulation of these bulbs deteriorates, weakens, or becomes damaged, it can also cause fire. 

If you wish to use your old Christmas lights, check for frayed wires, loose connections, and worn-out insulation. If you see any defects, buy new lights that meet higher safety standards. 

If you're planning to connect several sets of Christmas lights in series, consult a certified electrician to check the adequacy of the electrical wires. Do not plug multiple sets of lights in an extension cord. 

Burns and electrical shock 

Accidental contact with live wires or overheated plugs and sockets may cause burns and electric shock. Check for loose bulbs, plugs, and sockets, as these may result in overheating.

If you are installing Christmas lights outside your home, make sure they are certified for outdoor use (the labels or packaging should indicate this). Tie them securely so they are not easily pulled off and accidentally stripped off of their protective insulation. 

Physical injuries

Accidents and falls may happen while installing lights, lanterns, and other decorations. Make sure you are standing on a stable platform or ladder. Don't use thumbtacks and nails to secure lights onto a wall; hang the lights using insulated (meaning: no exposed metal) hooks. 

This snippet is from the original article ("Safe, Sound, Splendid") that appeared in the Dec 2016-Jan 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. 

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