Christmas Light Hanging Safety

1. The Safest Supplies

The first step in outdoor holiday decorating is choosing the lights you’ll use. There are traditional string lights, lit-up figures, net lights for trees and shrubs, and large ornaments for hanging from trees. ALWAYS purchase outdoor grade lights. These will be waterproof or resistant and have a tag marked underwriters laboratories (UL) which means that they meet national industry standards. This rule also applies for the extension cords you’ll need. Always get outdoor grade/water-resistant cords and materials labeled for outdoor use. If hanging lights, you’ll need a plastic hook product to wrap them around or hang them on, rather than severing and exposing electrical cords with nails. In point 2, we discuss using the proper outlet for the job. If you don’t already have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, you can pay an electrician to install one or purchase a portable unit from the local hardware store for 20 dollars or less.

2. A Grounded Outlet

Essentially, a GFCI outlet is a grounded outlet with the capability of shutting off when its overloaded which can easily happen when our family goes holiday-decor-happy. The GFCI should ideally have its own fuse. Having this outlet in place may be the most important element of your holiday decorating safety regimen because in case of an overcurrent, it can prevent your home’s lights from turning off and in the worst circumstances, can prevent a fire.

3. Placement of Extension Cords

Again, make sure you are using outdoor grade extension cords. A lot of these precautions are especially for those who live in extreme cold climates with rain, ice, or snow. When placing extension cords, you want to make sure that they are secured above any ground, water, or snow. This might seem common-sensical, but be sure to avoid high traffic areas where people may be walking. Tape them as necessary to keep them out of the way of anyone’s feet or hands

4. Ladder Safety

The best ladders have a wider spread between the legs, rust-proof hardware, heavy side rails, and a firm stance when opened. If your current ladder doesn’t reach the areas and capabilities you’d dreamed of, you should purchase a ladder that does or alter your vision. When using a ladder, make sure it is locked in place, don’t climb too high (above 2nd step from the top), always be facing the ladder, and don’t place it near doors.

Be safe this and every winter with these safety tips, and have a very merry holiday season from our families to yours!

 

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10 Best Indoor and Outdoor Easter Egg Hiding Places

A few key points are important to remember when deciding where to place your Easter eggs for a hunt this year. The first is safety. This article will outline a number of safety precautions when hiding Easter eggs for children to find. To make the day the safest, you can also create a couple maps to assist you and the children, one map only of the designated area the eggs are hidden so that children don’t go beyond the parameters and another “cheat sheet” that tells you where all the eggs are hidden. For the most safety, designate adults with bunny ears to supervise and help the children as they hunt. The last thing to consider is the children’s ages. Eggs should be hidden in pretty plain view if the children are younger than 5 years old, and require a little bit more effort if they are older. If the children are mixed ages, employ both! Here are some of the best places to hide your Easter eggs.

Indoor

  1. Between books on the book shelf
  2. The silverware basket of the dishwasher
  3. In candle holder or tooth brush holders
  4. Inside shoes
  5. On the window sills behind the curtains

Outside

  1. In the mailbox
  2. Buried in a sandbox
  3. Behind the legs of outdoor furniture
  4. Under safe plants, in plain view or just behind a leaf
  5. Inside gardening tools such as watering cans, gloves, coiled garden hose, etc.

Safety Tips

  • Keep in mind children’s ages by keeping eggs hidden at or below the level of the children’s eyes
  • Don’t hide eggs around glass items. If you removed them from plain view like previously suggested, you won’t have to worry
  • Don’t hide eggs in natural holes in the ground or trees
  • Don’t hide eggs around animals, their sleeping, eating or play areas
  • Don’t hide eggs near potentially dangerous rooms of the home such as the attic or basement
  • Don’t hide eggs near thorny or otherwise dangerous plants