Christmas lights and decorations are one of the delights of the holiday season. Personally, I love to drive around after dark in the month before Christmas enjoying the hard work that homeowners and businesses have put into decorations. Strings of colored lights, or the newer icicles and nets of lights that are thrown over bushes are displayed in imaginative, creative, eye-catching designs for the enjoyment of everybody who passes by. Christmas Trees stand in the front windows, peeping out through the drapes, putting out their own message of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to men…and women.
Wire sculptures of deer, strung with lights, populate front lawns across North America. For some reason, I find the deer scenes especially appealing. Santa Claus is seen in various forms, on rooftops, at the front door or just waving from the front of the house. Nativity scenes, illuminated in the front lawn, remind us of the reason for the season.
All this joyous color adds to the festivity of the holiday season. In order to keep the holidays safe, people should take precautions when decorating their homes for the Christmas holidays. A frayed wire or electrical mishap can cause a shock or a fire, which nobody want to see.
At least one person that I know throws out all of their strings of lights at the end of the season and buys new ones for the next season. While this seems extravagant, I have to admit that this does make some sense. By purchasing the newest lights every year they are taking the best measures they can to ensure that the lights they use are in good condition. In addition, electrical lights seem to get better and more advanced every year. As advances are made the newer lights are said to cost less in electricity costs. In addition, they do not have to worry about wrapping, storing and untangling the lights every year.
Lines of electrical lights are pretty economical to purchase, but when the project is large, such as lighting an entire landscape purchasing new lights every year could be costly. Whether you use lights that are old or new, follow the advice put forth by Underwriters Laboratories for electrical safely the holiday decorations.
Safety Tips from Underwriters Laboratories
1. Inspect electrical decorations before using them. Look for cracked sockets, bare wires, frayed wires and loose connections. Damaged electrical cords pose a fire and shock hazard.
2. The Christmas tree should be at least three feet away from sources of heat, including radiators, fireplaces, electrical heaters and the baseboard.
3. Position the Christmas Tree so it isn’t blocking an entry or exit.
4. Follow the manufacturers directions when stringing lights together. UL recommends no more than three strings of miniature light on one string. Screw in bulbs should have no more than 50 connected bulbs.
5. Turn off electric decorations and electric lights before going to bed or before leaving home.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
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