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

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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.

Most Read This Week

July 23, 2015 14548

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 4925

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4348

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4296

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3578

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19411

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15477

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 28, 2015 1549

Hanson Youth Wins Soap Box Derby World…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1224

Heavy Rains, Two Wrecks Impeded WKP Travel

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1062

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 847

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 824

Bud's Gun Shop to Re-Open Uncle Lee's

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 805

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 767

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 674

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 597

Hopkins County Fair Underway

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 490

Teen Birth Rates at All Time Low

by SurfKY News