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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 28, 2015 4090

Search for Stolen Vehicle Ends with Woman Charged…

by SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 3433

Online Petition Seeking Re­opening of Shanice…

by Samantha Carver, SurfKY News
April 28, 2015 3295

Man Charged with Stalking Smoke Shop Clerk

by MPD
April 27, 2015 2849

Hopkins County Drug War ― Are We Winning?

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 30, 2015 2736

Family Says 'Goodbye' to Dog After It Allegedly…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 15370

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 8433

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 02, 2015 1153

Frymire’s Life Accomplishments, Dedication to MCC…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 03, 2015 1045

Two Injured During Two-Vehicle Collision

by SurfKY News
May 01, 2015 865

Above and Beyond: Leighann Stroud

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 706

Don't Bet on Supreme Court Overturning Marriage…

by Richard Nelson
May 02, 2015 639

Homegrown by Heroes Receives Donation from…

by Ted Sloan
May 02, 2015 609

Weeknight activities the whole family can enjoy

by SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 578

New Mather Metals to Expand in Franklin

by Office of the Governor
May 02, 2015 575

Baptist Health Hosts Annual ‘Bike Safety Day’

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 539

Hooked on Science - 'Kentucky Derby Balloon Race'

by Jason Lindsey