December 14, 2015

Purchasing Holiday Decor the Safe Way This Season

This holiday allow ShopRite to give you the gift of knowledge and safety when purchasing decor¬†for the season.¬† We’ve compiled a couple of tips to keep in mind if you are planning to add or replace some of your holiday decorations this year. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you are purchasing holiday decor the safe way this season.

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General Purchasing Tips

  • As a rule of thumb always buy electrical equipment that displays a label indicating it has undergone independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • When you purchase decor, make sure that you are buying from trusted retailers to avoid the risk of purchasing counterfeit products.
  • Always display decorations according to their intended use whether it be for outdoors, indoors or both.
  • It’s a good idea to send warranty and product registration forms to manufacturers in order to be notified promptly in the event of product recalls.

Purchasing Artificial vs. Natural Trees

  • If you are buying a natural tree, look for one that is well-hydrated with vibrant green needles.
  • When the trunk of a natural tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles will show if that tree is too dry.
  • The needles on a natural tree should be hard to pluck and do not break easily from its branches.
  • A natural tree with a sappy sticky stump is also a good indicator for purchasing.
  • Purchasing an artificial tree will cost 70% less over 10 years according to the American Christmas Tree Association.
  • If you are purchasing an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • The best artificial trees should have hinged branches to keep set-up simple.

Purchasing Light-Emitting Diode (LED) vs. Incandescent Holiday Lights

  • LED lights can last up to 20 times longer than traditional incandescent lights.
  • LEDs tend to generate less heat, meaning they are more energy-efficient.
  • LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass and are much more durable.
  • LED lights, although more expensive, will make up some of the cost through energy savings.
  • Incandescent are unarguably brighter than LED lights.
  • Incandescent holiday lights are cheaper than LED bulbs.

Bonus Tips for an Even Safer Holiday

  • Before decorating, check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s limits for the number of strings that can safely be connected together.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms can dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
  • Never burn candles near your tree. A dry tree will burn like tinder and can flare out of control.
  • Create an emergency plan to use if a fire does break out anywhere in your home. See that each family member knows what to do. PRACTICE THE PLAN!

Have a safety tip of your own? Feel free to share it in the comments below!