Outdoor decorating for the holidays is a favorite activity for many homeowners. Making the outside of your home as festive and cheerful as the inside can be a fun tradition to share with your children, and the holiday ambiance it adds to the neighborhood is most always appreciated.
In fact, many families enjoy riding around town in the evening time looking at the lights and holiday decorations of the homes throughout their neighborhood.
But, outdoor holiday decorating also comes with a fair amount of hazard and it is important to keep safety in mind. In fact, each year more than 10,000 people are treated for injuries caused by accidents during holiday decorating.
While it seems like an activity like holiday decorating would be fun and not dangerous, things like cuts, falls, and electrical shocks are all something to be careful of. As with many things, prevention is the best safety measure and that means following these tips:
- Make sure that your holiday lights are LED. These lights use up to 90% less energy and are considered safer than incandescent lights because they are shock resistant and don’t overheat.
- Make sure not to overheat your outdoor electrical circuits. When planning how many lights you are going to hang and where they will be plugged in, keep in mind how many watts your circuits will handle. If your home is older, the wattage that it can handle will be much lower than a newer home.
- Only purchase decorations that are certified by Underwriters Laboratory. These items will have a UL safety tag on them and that means that they have been tested and the meet the safety requirements.
- While 7-watt bulbs are brighter and look more brilliant, they also get significantly hotter and can create a fire hazard. Instead, purchase 5-watt light bulbs to make sure that your home is beautifully lit, without being dangerously hot.
- Only use extension cords that are designed for outdoor use. The weather conditions outside this time of year can present a fire hazard for extension cords that are not meant to be used outdoors. When you purchase extension cords make sure to choose those that are appropriate for the way that you will be using them – don’t just choose based on price or length.
Be safe this holiday season when decorating the outside of your home. While you are adding some beauty and holiday cheer to your neighborhood that many families will drive by and enjoy, you don’t want to do it at the expense of your safety.