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

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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 on social media.

In Other News...

Dawson Springs Police Reports Released

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (3/30/15) — The Dawson Springs Police Department released the following reports Monday, March 30.… Read More

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 30, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/30/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Monday, March 30. Paul… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5872

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5415

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5170

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5106

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4275

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 4108

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13784

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11619

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 30, 2015 2056

Man Charged with Child Abuse After Allegedly…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 30, 2015 1908

Juvenile Arrested for Cruelty to Animals

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 30, 2015 1461

Two Charged in Bremen Meth Bust

by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
March 29, 2015 1125

Huge Turnout Joins to Support Shanice Bean Family

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 977

Should Inactivity be Classified as a Disease?

by Mallory Powell
March 29, 2015 824

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 30, 2015 789

Report of Suspicious Man Ends with PI, Meth…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 751

North American Stainless to Make $150 Million…

by Office of the Governor
March 30, 2015 705

Man Charged for Selling Drugs from Red Cardinal…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 680

Market Commentary - March 29, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin