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At home or at work, keep these things in mind when decorating for the holidays!

  • Before decorating, read and follow the manufacturers’ instructions concerning installation and maintenance of all decorative electrical products.
  • Use lights and other electrical decorations certified by a recognized independent testing laboratory such as UL, CSA or ETL.
  • Outdoors, use lights and other electrical decorations certified for outdoor use.
  • Carefully inspect each decoration before plugging into an outlet. Cracked, frayed, loose or bare wires – as well as loose connections – may cause electrical shock or start a fire. Replace damaged items.
  • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing lightbulbs or fuses.
  • Mount or support light strings with hardware designed for the job. Nails, staples and screws can damage a cord’s insulation.
  • Unless the manufacturer says you can, never connect more than three light string sets together – unless they're LED light strings.
  • Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have no more than 50 bulbs connected together, unless you’re using LED-style bulbs. Check the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Don’t overload extension cords – they can overheat and start a fire. Keep all outdoor extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights.
  • Keep children and pets away from electrical decorations. Even small light decorations can produce a fatal shock if they’re mishandled.
  • Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). You can buy portable GFCIs or extension cords with built-in GFCIs wherever electrical supplies are sold.
  • Never nail, staple or screw extension cords.

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