With the holidays approaching, you may need to consider more than just getting the holiday shopping done early.

“I was hanging lights on the porch and the ladder slipped on a patch of ice,” Leane Schulte of Hartington, Nebraska said. “My back hasn’t been the same since.”

The U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission reports that during the two months surrounding the holiday season, more than 14,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries related to holiday decorating.

How can you stay safe this season hanging your holiday lights? Here are some easy tips to consider;

1.) Outdoor or Indoor Lights? Make sure you are reading the labels on your lights – outdoor lights need to be certified for outdoor use, and remember to only plug them into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter).

2.) Do a Quality Check. Make sure your lights are in good condition – broken or cracked sockets, bare wires or loose connections? Replace them. Even new lights can have these issues. Check the new ones too!

3.) Extensions? Are your extension cords rated for the proper use? Are they in good condition?

4.) Are they tested? Did you know that there are nationally recognized testing labs that check to make sure lights meet strict safety requirements? Yup. Make sure you are checking the label for: Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). They have your back!

5.) Practice Ladder Safety! There are many ladder safety tips, but here are a few to remember; make sure ladder’s braces are locked down, don’t climb too high and face the ladder!

Too tired by just reading all of this to carry through? If so, consider that the popularity of lighting companies who will do all of the hard work for you. Many hang lights, replace bulbs as needed and take the lights down post season and store them for you until the following year…how can you beat that? Check out ModernCandlelight.com

Happy Holidays!