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Holiday Safety Tips
Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Safety

The holiday season is upon us.  People will be hustling and bustling to do accomplish many tasks, such as purchasing that special gift for that special someone, cooking huge family meals, and decorating for the season.  No matter who you are, or what you celebrate, to ensure you and your family remain safe throughout the holidays, be sure you don’t take shortcuts with regard to safety. 

Throughout the season, visit occasionally for some holiday safety tips to help ensure you, your family, and your pets all have an enjoyable, and SAFE, holiday. 

One of the things many folks enjoy doing is to decorate the interior and/or exterior of their home for the holidays.  Some folks keep things very simple, while others create complex displays to woo their neighborhood.  No matter how fancy or simple you keep your display, it generally requires the use of some type(s) of lighting.  To that end, here are a few basic safety tips for setting up you indoor or outdoor lighting:


·         Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.

·         Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.

·         Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.

·         Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

·         Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.

·         Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.

·         The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and any person touching a branch could be electrocuted! To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a tree, never fastened onto it!

·         Keep “bubbling” lights away from children. These lights with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious children to break candle-shaped glass, which can cut, and attempt to drink liquid, which contains a hazardous chemical.




It’s likely that when you think of cords, your main concern is hiding them from view in your holiday decorations. However, cords of all kinds need to be properly inspected, used and stored to reduce your risk of a fire. Follow these tips to help you keep cords out of sight but also safely on your mind. 

  • When using an extension cord, 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.
  • Check that all electrical items, including extension cords, are certified by a nationally recognized independent testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL), or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
  • Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis.
  • Do not place power cords and extension cords in high traffic areas or under carpets, rugs or furniture.
  • Be sure it is not placed at an angle or position in way that pinches the cord.
  • Never nail or staple cords to the wall or baseboard which can damage the wire insulation.
  • Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet.
  • Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the item being used.
  • Do not run extension cords through walls or ceilings. This may cause the cord to overheat, creating a fire hazard.
  • Insert plugs fully so that no part of the prongs is exposed when the extension cord is in use.

By following these few simple safety tips, you can help to create a safe lighting exhibit and prevent a catastrophe during a time that should be a celebration.  For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s website at

The Salisbury Fire Department wishes you the best, and safest, holiday season, ever!!!

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