Brightly-colored lights are one of the best parts of the holiday season. Our homes, yards, and Christmas trees are decorated with a variety of sizes and colors that glisten through the night! But, we often forget that these beautiful lights can cause fires. Here are some safety tips to keep the holiday season joyous (and danger free)!
10 Holiday Light Safety Tips
1. Please don’t allow children to play with your holiday lights. Even if the lights are not plugged in, children can cause damage to the lights, which in turn could lead to electrical shortages and fire risks
2. If handling lights that contain lead, wash your hands afterwards.
3. Turn lights off when you are sleeping or away.
4. Never use any indoor extension cords or lights outdoors – stick to lights and electrical sources designed to withstand the elements.
5. Do not overload extension cords or power strips.
6. Check your lights before you use them. Be on the lookout for lights that don’t work or have a loose connection, broken or cracked sockets, and frayed wires – throw them out!
7. If you have bulbs that don’t’ work, replace them with the same wattage bulb.
8. Get a fresh tree, as they are less likely to catch on fire. Choose a tree that is a vibrant green and won’t shed its needles easily.
9. Place your tree away from heat sources – space heaters, fireplace, candles, heating vent, etc.
10. Always unplug your lights from the wall. Avoid turning the switch off and do not pull on the cord itself - pull from the gripping area on the plug.
To keep your lights in their best working condition, here are additional tips for storing them:
1.Before you pack them away, check for any damages that could have occurred over the holiday season.
2. Carefully wind your lights up to avoid tangling. A holiday light storage reel can be purchased or you can create your own system.
3. Store your holiday lights in a dry place so they are not damaged by water or any type of dampness.
4. Keep them out of the reach of children and pets to avoid damage.
You are now ready to deck your halls with holiday lights! If you ever have any questions about fire safety and how to prevent fires during the holiday season, contact your local fire department. Happy holidays!