A Not So Shocking Holiday Season (tips to keep your family safe)

holiday lights safetyHalloween has just ended and now it’s time to take down the Halloween decorations and bring out the big light shows for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It seems to me that driving around every holiday season, I see more and more lights and inflatables and decorations and among all these things I see extension cords all over the place. I see them in trees, running across yards and roofs and even hooked up to neighboring houses. And that is not even mentioning what is plugged in on the inside of the house. While there is nothing wrong with putting up lights and decorations, there is a level of safety and awareness that goes along with our holiday decorating fun.

The website HolidaySafety.org has some great safety tips to keep in mind this coming holiday season:

Safety Tips

  1. When using electricity outdoors, always plug extension cords into GFCI-protected outlets.
  2. When working outdoors, use only weather-resistant, heavy gauge extension cords marked “for outdoor use.” These cords have added safeguards designed to withstand the outdoor environment.
  3. Keep all outdoor extension cords and light strands clear of snow and standing water, and well protected from the elements.
  4. Purchase cords from authorized retailers and check to see that they have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  5. Select a cord that is long enough to meet your needs. Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.
  6. Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way. Touching even a single exposed strand can result in an electric shock or burn.
  7. Make sure the extension cord you use is rated for the products to be plugged in and is marked for either indoor or outdoor use.
  8. Examine extension cords before each use. Cracked, frayed, or otherwise damaged cords should be replaced immediately.
  9. Unplug and safely store after every use. Store cords indoors to keep them protected from damage caused by water and excessive heat.
  10. Do not place extension cords in high traffic areas, under carpets or across walkways where they pose a potential tripping hazard.

We all want to have a safe and happy holiday season and put up our decorations, both inside and out, so taking just a little extra time and having a safe and well thought out electrical plan can help make happy memories this holiday season.

About the Author

Greg Atwood is a Firefighter /Paramedic in Coral Gables Florida and works for the Coral Gables Fire Rescue. He is an American Heart Association certified instructor in BLS ( Basic Life Support ), ACLS ( Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support ), and PALS ( Pediatric Advanced Life Support ). Greg currently lives in Miami Florida with his beautiful wife Alexa and their 2 sons, Connor and Jake. Greg is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team


6 Responses to “A Not So Shocking Holiday Season (tips to keep your family safe)”

  1. Thanks so much for the tips, I’ll bookmark this!

  2. Great Tips! I was shocked replacing a lightbulb on a pre-lit Christmas tree on year….it gave me quite the buzz!

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