The holiday season just would not be the same for many people without the bright and colorful light displays that decorate houses and city streets alike. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 12,500 people are sent to the emergency room every holiday season because of injuries sustained from lighting and decorating. Safe Electricity provides tips for those who are undertaking holiday lighting and decorating projects to help them do safely.
Begin by checking that every strand of lights has been tested and approved by an official lab and make sure the cord is rated for where it will be used — whether indoors or outside. Examine each strand for any fraying or damage. To prevent possible electrical shocks or fires, do not use any damaged cords. Typically, one extension cord should only have three strands of lights connected to it at most, but you should also check that the extension cord is rated for its intended use.
Lights and decorations that are outdoors should be plugged into an outlet with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. A GFCI can protect you from electrical shock from damaged or defective decorations, or accidental electrical contact with water. GFCIs can be installed in a circuit breaker box or in an outlet and can be used anywhere you need it with the portable version…Give the gift of safety this holiday season.