10 things to check before stringing lights | Living the Country Life
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10 things to check before stringing lights

Before you loop those holiday lights around the shrubbery and fence, check this list.

Each year, about 14,000 people end up at hospitals for injuries related to holiday decorating, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Safe Electricity has tips to help you avoid becoming part of this statistic:

1, All electronic decorations and lights should be certified by a laboratory like UL, ETL, or CSA.

2. Inspect cords and electrical equipment before using them. Cords should not be frayed, cracked, or brittle.

3. Turn off or unplug lights before going to sleep.

4. Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

5. Never tack or nail through a strand of lights.

6. Outdoor decorations and lights should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs detect and prevent dangerous electrical situations where a shock may occur. GFCI protection is very important outdoors, where weather conditions can create shock hazards.

7. Only use decorations and lights that are rated for outdoor use outside.

8. Never throw holiday lights on trees near power poles.

9. If you are using a ladder, stay 10 feet from overhead power lines at all times, in all directions.

10. Never string more than three strands of lights together, unless packaging specifically says it is safe to do so.

Safe Electricity wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season. For more information on staying safe and protecting your loved ones, visit SafeElectricity.org.

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