There’s something magical about lights during the holiday season … but also something dangerous. Holiday lighting poses a real fire risk if not used safely. So before you deck the halls, be sure to check out these holiday lights safety tips:
Use only Christmas tree lights that are rated for indoor use and tested for safety. Check for the label of an independent testing laboratory like Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).
If you have a metallic Christmas tree, never put electric lights on it to avoid the risk of electric shock.
Before using lights, check each set of lights for worn or broken cords, broken or cracked sockets, and loose bulb connections. Replace damaged lights.
Connect no more than three standard-size sets of lights into an extension cord. Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords, instead plug lights into different circuits around your home.
Don’t fasten colored spotlights onto metallic trees. Use them above or beside your tree to prevent tree branches from becoming charged with electricity from faulty lights.
Turn off the all Christmas lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving home.
Keep pets safe by protecting electric cords and tree lights so that they can’t chew them and get electrocuted.
Make sure outdoor lights are rated for exterior use by an independent testing laboratory. Exterior lights and extension cords used outdoors need to be weather-resistant.
Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage. However, don’t attach light strings with nails or staples as these can cut through the wire insulation and start a fire. Use only UL-approved hangers.
Take exterior lights down within 90 days to prevent hazards from weather damage or critters chewing on them.
Store lights safely after taking them down. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. They’re also a pain to untangle! Wrap the strings around a piece of cardboard, cover them in paper or fabric, and then store in a sturdy container until next year.
Never use real candles to decorate a tree. Use battery-operated, flameless LED candles instead.
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