HOUSEOUTSIDEDECOREUS (11/28/2013) - The holiday countdown is on and it's time to get your house razzle-dazzle ready. But before you do, make sure to check that your lights and decorations are still in good working order after a year in storage. Not only can old decor look worn out, but it also can put you and your family at risk -- which is the last thing anyone wants at this joyous time of year.

CSA Group, a leader in public safety testing and certification, offers these tips to help you stay safe this holiday:

* Carefully inspect light strings each year. Discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections. Inspect for storage damage from moisture or rodents.

* Turn off the electricity to the supply outlet before working with outdoor wiring. Unplug light strings before replacing bulbs and check to ensure replacement bulbs match the voltage and wattage of the original. To avoid a shock from damaged wires, use insulated fasteners rather than metal nails or tacks to hold light strings in place.

* Make decorating a family activity by planning this year's theme with the kids, but don't let children or pets play with light strings.

* Keep electrical connectors for outdoor lights above ground, out of water and away from metal gutters. Connect outdoor lighting into receptacles protected by weatherproof ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These can provide protection from electric shock by sensing ground leakage and cutting electrical power.

* Use heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations and large electronically-animated displays, and don't overload extension cords.

If you need to purchase new lights, look for a certification mark to ensure they are certified by an organization such as CSA Group.

And remember: outdoor holiday lights are made for seasonal use only; extended exposure to the elements can lead to damage. So when the holidays are over, take down the festive decorations and place them back in their original packaging for next year.

SurfKY News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample Visiting Apollo Eagles

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (1/31/15) — After facing a deficit at the conclusion of each of the first two quarters, host… Read More

Beyond Feeders and Feed: Creating a Bird-Friendly Yard

HENDERSON, Ky. (1/31/15) — Ever wonder why only the same half-dozen birds show up in your yard? Wish you could attract… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 18316

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 9673

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 28, 2015 7487

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 7313

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 7029

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 25, 2015 7009

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 24031

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 23581

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 31, 2015 7029

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 6680

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 01, 2015 2311

Madisonville Man Charged on Multiple Drug…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Rogers
January 30, 2015 2234

Governor, First Lady, Commissioner Celebrate New…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 31, 2015 2186

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Mike Groves
January 31, 2015 1950

Eating Only during 9-12 Hour Period May Help…

in General News For All Sites by Melissa Landon
January 31, 2015 1779

Hooked on Science - 'Chemical Reaction Splash'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
February 01, 2015 1754

White Plains Man Arrested after Being Wanted for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Robert LIttlepage
January 31, 2015 1739

Keeping the Faith - 'Will Practice Make Perfect?'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 31, 2015 1648

Woman Veterans Video Now on KDVA YouTube

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug