When you think of Christmas movies, it’s hard not to include “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” If you’re wondering what this movie has to do with safety, clearly you’ve never seen it. So pour a glass of eggnog and add it to your list of movies to watch this holiday.
In the movie, Clark Griswold has the ability to make us laugh and squirm through his struggles, but his passion for family, holidays and spirit warms our heart. From stapling Christmas lights on the entire roof, to holding on to his gutters for dear life, Clark offers some “what not to do” safety and holiday decorating lessons. So what did we learn?
Stapling Christmas lights to the roof — It might be beautiful; however, stapling Christmas lights to your roof can put additional wear and tear on your shingles. The small holes from a staple gun can allow water to penetrate, weaken the shingle and potentially reduce the life span of your roof.
Test your lights before putting them up — You’ll appreciate having been so neat and picky about the organization of your Christmas lights when it comes time to test them. If you prefer to store your Christmas lights in a beautiful ball shape, make sure you test them before putting them up, as some of the bulbs may have been compromised. Do NOT cut Christmas light strands.
Ensure you’re using electrical outlets safely — One of the primary causes of fires during the holidays when decorating homes, is overloading electrical outlets. Ensure that you only plug one high wattage appliance into each outlet. It’s also a good idea to use extension cords or power strips with circuit breakers installed as another level of safety.
Although electricity powers our spectacular holiday lighting displays, it can also pose serious fire and safety hazards if proper precautions are not taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorative holiday lighting causes an estimated 860 residential fires each year, with Christmas trees contributing to an additional 210 fires per year. All in all, fires caused by decorative holiday displays result in an average of 1 death, 41 injuries and $13.4 million in property damage every year.