Decorating your home, yard or office is fun for most but a necessary chore for others. Still, it is a festive way of celebrating the holiday season. However, it can be dangerous — as dangerous as electrocution or falling off of your house.
For example, if, despite your careful planning, you’re injured by a defective gift or a ladder that collapses under you, let the Florida personal injury lawyers at Searcy Denney help. We’ll take care of your insurance and legal claims, and you can get on with your “fun” decorating. To decorate safely, follow the simple key tips below:
Planning a Holiday Display
- Plan your display according to the number and location of available outlets. You may have to tone it down to avoid overloading electrical outlets.
- Use lights that have been tested for safety. Look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL, or other nationally-recognized labs. When possible, consider using LED lights; they run cooler, use less energy, and last longer than incandescent lights.
- Never exceed the maximum number of strings or devices that may be linked together, as indicated on decoration packaging.
- Carefully inspect all lights and decorations for cracks, damaged sockets, and loose or bare wires prior to use. These defects can cause a serious fire or shock.
- When decorating outside your home, keep yourself, your decorations, and equipment at least ten feet from any power lines. In addition, make sure decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather, and a safe distance away from flammable items.
- Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when installing electrical décor and lights outside as metal ladders conduct electricity.
- Unplug electric lights, devices, and decorations before installing or replacing bulbs, changing parts, or attempting other repairs.
- Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.
- Secure lights, decorations, and cords to prevent wind damage. Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extensions cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.
During the Holidays
- Turn off all lights and electrical decorations before leaving your home or office or going to bed.
- If possible, use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles to avoid the hazards of an open flame. If you choose to light candles, place them away from flammable or combustible materials, including other decorations, fabrics, plastic, or paper products.
- Do not put candles in places where they might be easily knocked over, and never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Extinguish all candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
Packing and Storage
- Inspect and discard damaged decorations before packing and storing them.
- Store decorations in a dry location that is out of the reach of children, pets, heat sources, and open flames.
- Stack boxes in a corner or other stable location, and never higher than eye level to avoid injury or damage from toppling.
Your Decorations Are Not Fun If Someone Gets Hurt
Following the simple tips above helps you build a fun and safe decorating spread. If, despite your efforts, you are injured while decorating, contact the Florida personal injury lawyers at Searcy Denney to schedule your free consultation. We’ll help you with your insurance and legal claims immediately.