As many people are getting ready to decorate their houses with Christmas lights, the authorities have updated the fire safety guidelines. According to Lt. Tressa Miller from the Lane Fire Authority, most electrical fires occur during the holiday season.
Locals can prevent a house fire by following a few fire safety tips, such as refraining themselves from using indoor lights outside. Miller explains that people should check the UL code on the packaging to see whether they can use the indoor lights outside.
If the code is green, they shouldn’t be used outside. Some accidents happen when people put rugs and other things over cords. This can cause an electrical fire in a matter of hours. Besides the risks of Christmas lights, cooking is the top cause of house fires in the United States.
Therefore, the Lane Fire Authority offers plenty of fire safety tips to make sure that residents won’t accidently set their houses on fire. When you go shopping for Christmas lights, extension cords, and other electric decorations, buy just the ones which have a UL code.
In case you want to decorate your courtyard as well, use lights that have the UL red code. If you use indoor lights outside, the freezing temperatures increase the risk of an electric shock. Regardless of whether they are new, make sure you thoroughly inspect all extension cords, electric decorations, and lights for any sign of bulbs, plugs, and wire insulation.
Broken bulbs can be replaced, but if the plugs and cords are damaged, you must immediately discard them and replace the old decoration with a new one. Make sure you unplug Christmas lights before making any repairs, such as replacing fuses or changing bulbs.
Also, keep in mind that you should use a bulb with the same wattage as the broken one. Otherwise, the higher wattage will overheat the light string, increasing the risk of a fire. Furthermore, whenever you decorate your courtyard, try to use non-conductive materials, such as fiberglass-reinforced plastic or wood, to reduce the chances of electric shock.
Last but not least, always follow the instructions on the packaging. One of the best ways fire safety tips is to read on the label how many light strands you can safely connect end-to-end. Also, check the decorations and Christmas lights on a regular basis to make sure they don’t overheat and turn them off before bedtime or when you want to leave the house.
Image Source: Weekend Notes