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How do I decorate safely for the holidays?

Every year there are reports of fires started by Christmas trees or holiday decorations. While the holidays are full of family traditions, do your part to make safety a holiday tradition in your home. Take some steps to be sure you are decorating your home safely this winter.

  • Use only extension cords and electrical decorations marked for proper use
  • Outdoor electrical lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
  • Inspect all lights, decorations, and extension cords for damage before using
  • Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire
  • Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights together
  • Water your Christmas tree daily
  • Keep all decorations at least 3 feet away from heating equipment or an open flame
  • Purchase electrical decorations from reputable retailers and that are approved by a nationally recognized testing lab such as UL, Intertek, or CSA

Decorate safely for the holiday with tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International

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