Friday, December 09, 2005

Filling Your Home With Winter Cheer - Part 2 of 3

In December, the chill of the weather outside is sharply contrasted by the warmth of holiday celebrations. It's a month marked by charity, family gatherings, and traditions both old and new. In that spirit, we'll share some tips to help make your holiday season a special one.

The is the second of a 3-part series taken from our December Newsletter that was e-mailed to all registered subscribers,
via our RE/MAX of New Jersey web site. We are looking at Christmas holiday season topics:

Decorating Made Easy
(Part 1)
Holiday Lighting Safety (Part 2)
Tips For The Holiday Party Host (Part3)

Holiday Lighting Safety

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means for many Americans it's time to climb that ladder and string up the holiday lights. The dazzling glow from houses near and far is part of what make this time of year so magical, but it is very important not to forget the proper safety precautions associated with holiday lighting:

  • Use only light and extension cords that are labeled as safe for outdoor use. Only use lights that have been tested for safety and are approved by Underwriters Laboratories. Look for the UL symbol.
  • Holiday lights are intended for seasonal use, and should not be used for more than 90 days at a time.
  • Use one longer extension cord rather than linking several shorter extension cords together.
  • Avoid running cords through high traffic areas.
  • Avoid stapling or nailing electrical cords, as this can damage their insulation.
  • Always unplug the cord when stringing up lights, indoor or outdoor.
  • Keep metal ladders away from overhead power lines.
  • When using a ladder, never stand on the top two steps or above. Always have a second person secure the base of the ladder.
  • Take care not to overload any electrical outlets. Overloading can result in overheating and fire.
  • Check all extension cords and light strings for cut or frayed wires. Never use a damaged cord.
  • If you have children, make sure all unused outlets have protective safety caps and that all extension cords have tamperproof safeguards.
  • Always turn off all decorative lights when leaving the home or when going to bed.
  • Unplug tree lights before watering the tree.
  • Keep the tree well watered. Hot tree lights can ignite dry trees.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place.
  • Check all smoke and fire detectors for added safety.

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