This is the time of the year we are getting prepared to decorate the inside and outside of our homes for the holidays. While preparing to decorate, safety should always be in the forefront of our planning. Here are a few tips to keep you and your families safe as you decorate and celebrate the season.

-Safety first! Use ladders and tools which are in good operating condition and appropriate for the application.

-When decorating outdoors, always make sure you use lights and extension cords rated for outdoor use.

-Be sure your extension cords are visible or do not pose trip hazards to children and others who use walk ways or cross the lawn. US Mail carriers, UPS and FedEx drivers will appreciate it too!

-Make sure light strings and extensions cord connections are water tight in order to prevent water from creating shorts which may trip fuses, breakers and GFCIs.

-Do not connect more strings of lights than are recommended by the manufacturer. You can overload circuits causing lights to go out frequently and tripping breakers and GFCIs.

-Make sure you use adhesive, gutter or shingle hooks to hang outdoor lights. Using staples or nails can greatly increase the potential to get shocked.

-Do not leave outdoor lights and decorations plugged in when you leave your home.

-Older lights and decorations may need to be replaced with those which meet current safety guidelines.

Please keep the following in mind when decorating indoors:

-Safety first! Use ladders and tools which are in good operating condition and appropriate for the application.

-Make sure lights and decorations are out of reach from curious toddlers and pets.

-Do not connect more strings of lights than are recommended by the manufacturer. You can overload circuits causing lights to go out frequently and tripping breakers and GFCIs.

-Make sure you keep live trees moist in order to reduce their potential to become fire hazards.

-Do not leave indoors decorations plugged in when you leave your home.

-Older lights and decorations may need to be replaced with those which meet current safety guidelines.

Last but not least, have a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

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