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Journal

December 21st

Christmas Lights

Check all your equipment (ladders etc.) for needed repairs, safety and stability. When you place your ladder against the house, check for stability each time before you climb.

Use a tool belt or apron with pockets to store all your supplies (clips, hooks etc.) while you are working. Do not lean when you are working on the ladder. Work at arms length.

Be sure your lights are UL or ETL safety approved. There should be a label on the package. If the Christmas lights have been opened there should also be a tag near the plug with a safety rating on it.

Check all your Christmas light sets for damage. Plug them in before stringing them up. Replace all broken or non-working bulbs with new bulbs of the same type and wattage.

Check to see that wires are not frayed or damaged. This could cause electric shock or fire. Dispose of any strands with damaged wiring. Do not attempt to repair them.

Make sure that all your lights are approved for outdoor use. This should be noted on the box or near the plug on a tag, just like the safety rating.

Your extension cords must also be safe for outdoor use. Once again this will be noted on the box or on a tag near the plug.

Check to see that you have a ground-fault circuit interrupter to plug all your outdoor lights into by way of your outdoor extension cords. These are professionally installed by an electrician. You can also buy a portable GFCI unit.

Keep Christmas lights away from electric, phone and cable lines. This is an obvious shock and fire hazard. The lines can also become entangled, which would require professional assistance.

Always use holders or hooks for lights. Staples, nails and tacks can pierce the wiring and cause an electrical short.

Put up your hooks, clips or holders first. Then string your lights. This way you are not juggling everything at once.

Do not pull on the Christmas light cords. It may cause wear or cause the wires to fray. This can cause an invisible short in the wiring.