Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Community News Network

November 8, 2013

Holiday lights safety: How not to be the Griswolds

Whether you string up lights to adorn your home and yard every holiday or just wait for Christmas, it's important to keep electrical safety in mind when decorating. After all, you don't want to be your neighborhood's version of the Griswolds from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."



Here's an important list of eight electrical safety tips for holiday decorators, from Safe Electricity.

1. Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. Do not run electrical cords across sidewalks or other walkway areas that could trip or endanger visitors. Indoors, avoid stretching cords across a room where people or pets can trip over them or become entangled.

2. Make sure that the lights you use have been safety tested by an approved laboratory.

3. Double-check light strings to see if they are frayed. Replace damaged strings.

4. Make sure extension cords are in good condition. Use only cords that are certified by UL, ETL, or CSA and rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them. Electric overloads can cause shocks and start fires.

Read the label on both the cord and the appliances that are plugged into it to make sure the cord can handle the load. If it cannot, use a higher-rated cord, or unplug some appliances. Remember that extension cords are meant for temporary, not permanent, use.

5. Outdoors, use only lights, cords, and animated displays rated for outdoor use.

6. Ensure that outdoor lights are securely fastened to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only plastic hooks or insulated staples to hold light strings in place, not nails or tacks. Also, be sure not to staple or nail through light strings or electrical cords.

7. Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets do not have them. GFCI protection is very important outdoors, where weather conditions can create potentially dangerous electrical situations.

8. Always turn off or unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home. A timer can help you make sure this happens.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.