Should You 'Go Pro' With Holiday Decor?

David Deem

By John Voket

Homeowners across the country are thinking about how they're going to dress up their properties for the upcoming winter holidays. An annual reminder from the folks at Christmas Decor may help.

In addition to helping homes look fabulous during the holiday season, the company's main goal is to save property owners from serious injuries—and their properties from structural damage, devastating fires and electrical hazards.

Kathleen Neave of Christmas Decor by Neave Decor in Stamford, Conn., says professional decorators can achieve results that most property owners can only imagine—without any risk to the owner's life or limbs.

In addition, Neave says holiday lighting specialists offer professional-grade lights and accessories that are certified for outdoor use, and they install that decor securely and safely to minimize the risk for property damage and electrical fire.

For those who opt for do-it-yourself decorating, here are some lighting installation safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

- Use only lights that are designed to be used outdoors

- Choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights

- Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections

- Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket

- Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights—and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow

- Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house

In addition, Susan Mckelvey, a blogger with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), reminds holiday decorators that annually, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 800 home fires with decorations, causing an annual average of two civilian deaths, 34 civilian injuries and $11 million in direct property damage. So while everyone wants their home to look beautifully festive around the holidays, it's best to put safety first as you plan for decorating in the coming weeks.

DRE: #01266522


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