UR Life

BRIGHT IDEAS FOR SAFE HOLIDAY DECORATING

Jessica Danziger-Lin

By Jessica Danziger-Lin

Tis the season for holiday music and gift-giving, good cheer and great food, and one of the most festive family activities – decorating the home.

As you get into the joyful spirit, getting the lights out, unwrapping ornaments and planning beautiful displays to create that “wow” factor, remember to keep safety precautions in mind. CSA Group, a leading testing and certification organization, would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips to help have a safe and happy holiday.

Shine safely – Let your inner designer sparkle, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when arranging electrical items, such as lights or electronic decorations to avoid potential electrical shock or fire hazards. Turn off the electricity to the supply outlet before working with outdoor wiring and never run an electrical cord through a doorway or under a carpet.

Keep it real – Spray snow can give the look of the real thing, but be sure your other decorations aren’t imitations. Look for the mark from an accredited certification organization such as CSA Group on animated displays, light strings and extension cords. For outdoor decorations, ensure items are marked and certified for outside use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bright lights not fiery sights – Buy flame-resistant decorations and never place open flames or candles near flammable materials, such as wreathes, trees or paper decorations. Never nail or tack lighting strings to a wall as this may damage insulation and create a shock or fire hazard. Instead, use insulated fasteners to hold light strings in place, rather than metal nails or tacks that could damage insulation and expose live wiring. And always have a working carbon monoxide and smoke alarm.

Power though dinner, but watch the juice – Don’t overload extension cords by using too many electronics. Use heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations and large electronically-animated displays. And make sure your house is capable of handling the electrical load of multiple lights and décor. If in doubt, contact a licensed professional to inspect your electrical system.

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