Please use caution and common sense this holiday season
About 500 home fires each year are blamed on holiday decorations. Please use common sense and don't risk losing everything you own including perhaps your loved ones or your own life. At a minimum follow the guidelines below:
Check that your decorations have the UL Underwriters Laboratory seal
Make sure you are not using damaged, frayed or cut wiring, extension cords or connectors
Never overload outlets or extension cords. Limit the number of strings plugged into each other. If there is no information on how many can be strung together, run no more than 3.
If a breaker trips, split the load up on several circuits.
Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing a light bulb or fuse
Always use GFI protected outlets for outdoor wiring. Portable GFCIs can be purchased where electric supplies are sold
If fuses blow, be sure to replace them with the same size fuse. Do not use a higher rated fuse. DO use a fuse (don't use any shortcuts or tricks your father may have taught you)
Do not run electrical cords under carpets or rugs
Do not use indoor only lights outside
Don't hang lights with anything that can wear through and/or cut the wiring
Be sure there is a bulb in every socket, even if it doesn't light
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become sharged with electricity from faulty lights
Turn the lights off when you go to bed or leave the house for any length of time.
Other tips that apply ALL the time:
Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher in the house close to the kitchen and the garage
Make sure all your smoke detectors work
Install a Carbon Monoxide CO detector in your house
Install, or have installed, GFI protected outlets in all your basement, bathroom, outdoor and countertop locations.
Never work on energized circuits
Use common sense. If it doesn't seem safe, don't do it.