Experts Remind Homeowners About Outdoor Holiday Decorating Pitfalls
By Melanie Zayas, SNJ Today Reporter
VINELAND, N.J. -
The holiday spirit gets most folks into the mood to deck the halls inside and outside as well.
Fire Marshall Michael Cifaloglio with the Vineland Fire Department wants to remind homeowners about the dangers of decorating outdoors before it could be too late.
“Every year we get one or two fires that may be caused by bad electric, by bad Christmas lights," said Cifaloglio. "You [have to] remember when you have Christmas lights and you’re [going to] use them every year and every year there’s a certain time you need to upgrade because they’re obviously cheap to purchase, which means they’re cheaply made, which means sooner or later you gotta get new ones.”
The Director of Vineland Municipal Utilities, John Lillie, says the most common pitfall for consumers is not investing in a quality extension cord or GFI outlets.
“For newer homes it’s a requirement that they need GFI outlets for any outdoor reseptacles," said Lillie. "The older homes that do not have that, they can buy a strip that is GFI protected, but always remember those have to be approved for outdoor use as well.”
Most of all consumers should inspect lights before use.
“Make sure they’re not frayed or knicked or broken," said Lillie. "They will be outside exposed to the weather and as we know electricity and water doesn’t mix well.”