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Prevent Decorating Mishaps: Hire A Pro To Do The Climbing


One of the smartest things you can do this holiday season as you decorate your house for Christmas is ask someone to hold onto the ladder for you while you climb up and down it. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 5,000 people wind up in hospital emergency rooms every November and December after they fall off of ladders while they’re hanging lights and other decorations. Another 10,000 have other decorating- related accidents.


Keep your holidays hazard-free this year: Let someone else do the decorating.


Frequent, more severe fall and winter storms over the past


few years have led more homeowners to invest in emergency backup generators that can run a couple of appliances or keep the lights on when wind, rain and falling tree branches knock the electricity out. Like any electric appliance, it’s important to follow the


manufacturer’s safety instructions that come with your generator so nobody in your family gets hurt while using it. But unlike other appliances, animproperly operated generator can harmor even kill amember of a line crew who’s working on a downed wire in your area.


Follow these generator safety tips:


• DO NOT connect the generator to any of your home’s electrical circuits! This requires a transfer switch and installing a transfer switch requires a licensed electrician. Power from generators connected directly to household wiring can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkersmaking repairs.


• Make sure your generator is properly grounded. • Keep the generator dry. • Make sure the extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, have three-pronged plugs, and are free of cuts or worn insulation.


• Do not overload the generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment or appliances.


• Never operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Use carbon monoxide detectors in nearby enclosed spaces tomonitor levels.Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly. Opening doors and windows or operating fans to ventilate will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Even with a carbon monoxide alarm, you should NEVER use a gasoline- powered generator inside your home or in a garage.


• Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries.


• Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.


• Keep children away fromportable generators at all times. Keep the lights on butmost importantly...stay safe.


Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month


Be merry and bright, but don’t let your holiday lights shine all night. Save money on your electric bill by installing a light timer for your decked out home. It can help lower your electric bill and reduce energy consumption. Use a manual timer plugged into an electrical outlet to automatically turn lights on and off as scheduled.


Source: U.S. Department of Energy


If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder or walking on your roof - and few people are - hire someone who is. Roofers, landscapers or other professional contractors with small businesses don’t have a lot of work to do around the holidays, so they’ll give you a deal. It only takes a couple of hours for someone like that to decorate the outside of a house, so it won’t cost you nearly as much as an emergency-room bill will. If you must do it yourself, secure your ladder on even ground or use leg levelers. Do the work during daylight. And don’t even think of climbing on the roof if you’ve been drinking alcohol. 161709


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