Holiday Decorating Safety Tips - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/29/03

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Getting into the Christmas spirit could be a safety hazard if you're not careful while putting up those Christmas decorations. Indoor and outdoor decorating could pose a potential fire hazard if not done properly. We talked to experts who gave advice on how to decorate safely this holiday season.

Decorating your home for the holidays is a tradition many families enjoy.

"We start the night of Thanksgiving, after everyone leaves the house, we put up the tree. We enjoy Christmas so much and decorating is part of it," said Kay Young.

But a safety hazard could be the end result if decorating is done carelessly. Lt. Curtis Swinford says that many house fires occur around the holidays. That's why experts warn that even plugging in the lights on your tree could cause a fire.

"Generally, you don't want to put more than about two strands plugged in together into one receptacle, much more than that, and you're overloading the circuit," says Swinford.

Lt. Swinford says it's important to check the wire on your lights, because as that insulation breaks down, any fraying of the wire could cause a short. Even those cute decorations can be trouble. Placing decorative items too close to the fire place and leaving candles unattended could result in a deadly situation. He says that if it's too hot to stand close to, then get your decorations away.

And take extra precaution when dealing with your outside decor. Andy Hutchison of Santa's Barn Outdoor Decorations says to be sure that any yard decor is well secured, and when dealing with electricity, he says to know where your breaker box is incase some unforeseen situation occurs.

Experts also suggest not using staples to fasten lights on your home because the staple will press against the heated wire and may causes a short.

Overall, experts just want you to be smart in your decorating decisions.

"The holiday spirit is great, but use common sense and think about what you're doing," said Lt. Swinford.

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