Thursday, November 14, 2013

Safety Tips for Holiday Decorations

As the holiday season quickly approaches, you may find yourself spending a weekend replacing burnt-out strings of lights or looking for new ways to brighten your front yard during winter's darkest months. Before making that trip to the store, be sure to review these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International on how to select the safest possible decorations:
  • Always buy electrical equipment that displays a label indicating it has undergone independent testing by a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). 
  • Only buy from trusted retailers to avoid the risk of purchasing counterfeit products.
  • Buy decorations according to your intended outdoor or indoor use.
  • Send warranty and product registration forms to manufacturers in order to be alerted to any product recalls.
  • When buying a natural tree, look for a well-hydrated one that has sap on its trunk and vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don't break away easily from branches.
  • If you have a natural tree, make sure the stand holds enough water to keep it thoroughly hydrated.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • Keep in mind that LED lights generate less heat, are more durable and last longer than incandescent lights.