You're not unusual. Every year, you're ready to break out the holiday decorations before your Thanksgiving turkey has found the bottom of your stomach. Yes, you're part of that annual rush to set up the most colorful yuletide light show on the block. While your task is admirable, make sure your holidays don't end in hardship.
Keep the following tips in mind as you decorate your home for the holidays:
When decorating your tree or home, select Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) approved holiday lighting sets.
Examine all cords and sockets for wear before putting electric lights or decorations in place. Discard items with frayed wiring or other damaged electric parts.
Do not overload electrical outlets.
Do not connect more than three light strings. Connect strings to an extension cord before plugging the cord into an outlet.
When using lights for outdoor displays, check labels to see if the lights are certified for outdoor use.
Unplug cords when stringing lights.
Unplug all light displays before leaving your home and going to sleep.
Don't plug electrical toys or appliances into the outlet at the end of a string of lights (the cord isn't large enough to supply electric current safely to anything other than the lights themselves).
To prevent accidental shock, keep all sockets on a string of lights filled even though a bulb may be burned out.
Use caution when touching lights that have been turned on for a while. Lights (other than LEDs which create less heat) may be hot to the touch.
Use safety caps to cover unused electrical outlets.
Keep the area around appliances clean and litter free.
Keep ladders away from power lines when hanging outdoor lights or decorations on the outside of your home.
If you choose a real tree, make sure your tree has been freshly cut and keep it from drying out by re-cutting its base and watering it daily. Also, keep it away from heaters, radiators or other heat sources that might ignite it.
Before digging in the yard to anchor holiday lawn decorations, call the National One Call System at 8-1-1 to locate underground gas and electric lines. See Call Before You Dig!