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Wrap up the holidays safely

When the holidays are over, Otter Tail Power Company reminds people to pack and store electrical decorations so they are safe for next year.

Holiday decorations are meant for temporary use. Keeping them up for several months leaves electrical components unnecessarily exposed to the elements, shortens the product's life, and could cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

Taking down decorative lights after the holidays and storing them until next season will reduce wear and tear, and by not lighting up the night until spring, people will save energy and money.

Here are some suggestions for undecorating safely:

• Use a Fiberglas ladder when taking down holiday lights to reduce the chance of electrical shock. And be sure to stay clear of overhead electrical wires.

• Grasp the gripping area of the plug when disconnecting lights and other decorations.

• Never bend, kink, or yank electrical cords. This may crack the insulation around the wiring, which could lead to shock or electrical fire.

• After taking down decorations, inspect them. Discard decorations with worn or frayed electrical cords, broken or cracked sockets, damaged plugs or loose connections.

• Separate outdoor decorations from those for indoor use and label them.