While decorative lights add a touch of magic to the holiday season, they can increase the risks of fire and electrical injuries if not used safely. Before you begin decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly.
Choosing your Lights:
Consider purchasing LED lights. They use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights. They are made with epoxy lenses rather than glass and are much more durable.
Research the Brand:
Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. You can research organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CSA Group, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that provide information about product recalls on their websites.
Hanging your Lights:
When hanging lights outdoors, use a wooden or fiberglass ladder. If you do choose to go with incandescent lights, never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together and avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices, as this can cause them to overheat and start a fire. Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, or mount light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
Last but not least, remember to always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses, and remember to turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.