Time to take down holiday decorations

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The holidays have come and gone, all the gifts are unwrapped and the holiday food coma is quickly being replaced with the realization of just how much work is required to dismantle the entire holiday decor.

From inside to outside, holiday decorations can be just as complicated to take down as they are to put up, and it’s for this reason that many will put off taking decorations down. Residents are reminded that end of year holiday decorations must be removed by Jan. 15. Residents who leave their decorations up after Jan. 15 are subject to a fine of $50 per week.

Taking down holiday decorations promptly is about more than just aesthetics. While holiday lighting and electrical decorations contribute to the holiday season, they can also increase the risk of fires.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International provides the following tips for post-holiday clean up:

  • Holiday decorations are meant for temporary use. Leaving decorations up for extended periods leaves wires unnecessarily exposed to the elements, which can decrease the product’s shelf life and increase the risk of electrical hazards.
  • Christmas trees should be disposed of early in the new year. With time, Christmas trees continue to dry out, making them increasingly flammable. Trees decorated with holiday lights have an increased risk because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source.
  • Always unplug decorations by using the gripping area. Pulling on the cord could damage the wire and present a shock or fire hazard.
  • As you take down holiday lights, inspect the wiring and discard any that have cracked, frayed, or appear to have damaged wire insulation.
  • Be sure to label or store indoor decorations separate from those intended for outdoor use. Store electrical decorations in a dry area that is not accessible by children or pets.
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