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.