According to the National Fire Protection Association, 860 home fires caused by holiday decorations occur each year. An additional 210 home fires are caused by Christmas trees per year. Follow these steps to ensure you decorate your home safely during the winter holidays.
- Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations are 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 national recognized testing lab such as UL, Intertek, or CSA.
For more information visit: http://www.esfi.org/resource/in-the-right-light-decorate-your-home-safely-during-the-holidays-567