The holiday season is officially in full-swing! Stores are packed with excited gift shoppers, delicious food is being made for family and friends and the house is full of festive decorations. One of the best parts about decorating for the holidays is the beautiful lights. However, if not set up properly, they could pose a potential fire hazard. We have a few tips for ensuring safety when putting up Christmas lights.
- Before hanging string lights, untangle the strand and carefully check for frayed ends or cracked cords.
- If you are placing lights on a real tree, be sure to keep it watered constantly to be sure that branches do not dry out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are approximately 250 Christmas tree fires per year.
- Replace any dead bulbs on strings of lights with the proper wattage recommended by the manufacturer.
- Extension cords are used heavily during the holiday season. Help prevent them from overheating by frequently checking with a quick touch. If it feels hot, unplug it for a while.
- Avoid hanging lights with metal hooks or tacks, since they could pierce the cord and cause electrical danger. Insulated hooks are the perfect alternative to hang lights while staying safe.
- Be sure to turn all lights (inside and outside) off when you are not home or overnight.
- Check specifics when purchasing lights for outdoors. Be sure the box states that they are okay for indoor AND outdoor use. Lights that are meant only for indoors could bring potential hazards if strung outdoors.
- If you are planning to burn seasonally scented candles, keep them at a safe distance from pets or children and away from obstructions.
Always practice proper safety when decorating for the holidays. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, too! We hope that your holiday season will be full of lights, beautiful decor and safe, sparkling lights!