They call it “Silly Season” for a reason! Stay safe with your Christmas decoration attempts this year with our essential list of quick tips that will keep your family and house from harms way.
We’ve evolved quite a lot since we were kids, watching our own parents put up your favourite Christmas decoration. But we’re in the future now and there are a lot more elaborate gadgets involved. Many of which, are hazardous to your home.
So here’s a nice guide that can be applied to many-a- Christmas decoration – big, small, extravagant or even flammable!
1. Double check that extension cables and electrical items that are placed outside are clearly marked for outdoor use.
2. May be nitpicking but matching the power requirements (amp) of electrical items with the amp rating of your chords helps reduce load.
“Secure all lights outside to solid stationary objects like parts of the house or trees to prevent the wind from giving them the sudden ability to fly…”
3. All outdoor lights and other electrical Christmas decoration should be connected to circuits fortified by GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters). If they are not protected by GFCIs, you can get a hold of convenient mobile units at Bunnings or Mitre 10 and requires no trade knowledge to operate. Just plug and play!
4. Triple check all lights and Christmas decorations for any damage prior to use.
5. Secure all lights outside to solid stationary objects like parts of the house or trees to prevent the wind from giving them the sudden ability to fly… especially if you live in Queensland. Also be mindful about the way you attach the cables so as not to hinder its insulation.
7. Additional spotlights used for any Christmas decoration, should be well-ventilated and positioned away from the elements. And to be even more careful, keep flammables away from these areas.
8. Ladders and climbing apparatus needs to be inspected at least once a year or at least before you attempt to get on the roof. Check for missing screws, damaged bolts, nuts and hinges.
9. While we’re on the topic of ladders, try using wooden or at least fibreglass ladders when putting up a Christmas decoration. Metal ones are conductors of electricity.
10. One more thing, your ladder should be tall enough that goes beyond at least three feet over the edge of whatever it is its leaning on.
11. Power lines? 10 Feet of separation should keep you from meeting your maker.
12. It just doesn’t happen in the movies, but overloading outlets with one too many Christmas decoration can cause flames. Refer to point 2.
13. I experienced my first electric shock when I was a boy trying to use the sandwich maker. I pinched the cord in the actually press, and boom! The same can happen with doors, windows and heavy furniture. Keep your cable’s insulation protected!
14. Unplug, unplug, unplug FIRST before replacing bulbs. Don’t be lazy!