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Preventing Fire and Electrical Hazards during the Holidays

It's time to start thinking about holiday safety once again. These tips are brought to you by CableOrganizer, a provider of cable, wire and equipment management solutions.

Lights and Decorations
  • Only purchase UL-listed electrical decorations and extension cords.
  • Make sure all decorations placed outdoors are rated for outdoor use. If you are not sure, check the color-coded UL mark on the product package. A green UL mark indicates indoor-only usage and a red UL mark indicates the product can be used both indoors and out.
  • Inspect all lights, electric decorations and extension cords for signs of damage to wire insulation, plugs and bulbs. Discard damaged wires and replace broken bulbs before using.
  • Unplug lights before making any repairs.
  • Make sure all replacement bulbs match the wattage of the light stand; not doing so causes a significant fire hazard.
  • Use wood or fiberglass-reinforced plastic ladders when hanging lights outdoors to reduce the risk of electric shock.
  • Check the wattage rating of all extension cords to make sure they match the power requirement of the lights.
  • Verify how many strands of lights can be connected end-to-end before decorating.
  • Always turn off Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving home.

Buying a Christmas Tree
Avoid older, dried out trees. These trees pose a much more significant fire hazard than younger, fresher trees. The tree's needles should be fresh, green and firmly attached to the branches.

Setting up the Christmas Tree
  • Cut off a few inches from the bottom of the tree before putting it into the stand, which will improve the tree's water intake. Be sure to water the tree daily.
  • As a general rule of thumb, one quart of water is necessary for every inch of a Christmas tree's trunk diameter.
  • Keep the tree at least three feet away from candles, fireplaces, space heaters, radiators and other heat sources.
Happy holidays! Be sure to be safe.

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