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As the holiday season gets into full swing, many families decorate to spread some cheer and make their homes more festive. While adding holiday decorations to your home can be fun and beautiful, they can also present fire hazards. To keep your home and family safe this holiday season, consider the following decorating tips:

Christmas Tree Tips:
  • Cut a two-inch diagonal piece off of the bottom of the trunk of your tree. This will help the tree absorb water.
  • Place the tree in a sturdy stand at least three feet away from heat sources such as heating vents and fireplaces.
  • Make sure that your tree stand is able to hold water and refill it everyday.
  • Only keep a tree in your home for two weeks since it dries out quickly and can become highly flammable.

Lighting and Decorating Suggestions:
  • Only buy electrical decorations that have a UL rating on the label, which indicates that they have been tested for safe use.
  • Follow all installation and usage instructions for lighting decorations to assure that you are not increasing your chance of starting a fire.
  • Inspect new and used lights before using them and discard any that have cracks, exposed wires or loose connections. Also replace any bulbs that are missing.
  • Do not connect more than three sets of lights to an extension cord at one time.
  • Plug outside lighting into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting (GFCI) outlet only, as this will safeguard the outlet from any interaction with water.
  • Do not secure outside lights with staples or nails, and avoid placing indoor extension cords under carpeting, rugs and furniture.
  • Unplug lighting decorations before going to bed and leaving the house.

Safety Hint
If you blow a fuse while decorating, discard the faulty light string or decoration and replace the blown fuse. If the fuse blows again, contact an electrician to investigate the problem further. This might indicate a more serious wiring problem in your home.

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