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For those who opt for do-it-yourself decorating, here are some lighting installation safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Use only lights that are designed to be used outdoors.
  • Choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights.
  • Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections.
  • Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket.
  • Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights—and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow.
  • Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

In addition, Susan Mckelvey, a blogger with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), reminds holiday decorators that annually, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 800 home fires with decorations, causing an annual average of two civilian deaths, 34 civilian injuries and $11 million in direct property damage. So while everyone wants their home to look beautifully festive around the holidays, it’s best to put safety first.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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