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DTE Energy Offers Tips For Safely Removing Outdoor Holiday Displays

12 Dangers of Christmas
Courtesy Photo

Do you prefer to savor the holiday, or, now that Christmas is over, are you anxious to take down all the lights and decorations?  Here's some post-holiday safety advice for all the light-up decorations.

Just as there are safety suggestions for putting up holiday decorations, DTE Energy has some advice for dealing with lights and electrically-powered displays after the big day.

Lisa Bolla is a communication specialist for DTE Energy and says whether you have a real Christmas tree or an artificial one, don't leave them up too long.

"Especially for the real trees, we do recommend that, once Christmas is over, customers take their tree down very quickly, because, as most people know, real trees do tend to dry out very quickly and it can be, with the combination of a dry tree and the lights, can be a fire hazard if the tree is not taken down pretty quickly after Christmas."

There are safety suggestions for outdoor light displays as well.  They may look nice on a home or business, but those extension cords could be a hazard for snow removal.

"We recommend that cords are never strong against doors or sidewalks or anything else where it could be damaged, especially outdoors. There's a protective coating around cords, and it's important that that protective coating stays intact to avoid any sort of shock hazard. You should never run an electrical cord along or through any place where it might be damaged by someone walking or a snowblower or anything else."

Bolla says Christmas light lovers should remember holiday lights are meant to be seasonal.

"It's important to remember that holiday lights are not recommended for use for an extended period of time. So, holiday lighting is definitely meant to be a temporary thing. And customers, again, should always check lights for damage before they pack them away and then throw away any damaged lights so you're not tempted to use them next year. And store the lights in a dry area where children and pets can't get at them."

Use caution when removing outdoor holiday light displays.  Last year, more than 9% of electrocutions nationwide were caused by ladders coming in contact with overhead power lines as people were removing their holiday displays outside.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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