Holiday lights are an important part of our celebrations each year, but each year decorative lighting is responsible for numerous home fires, property damage, injuries and even deaths across the nation. To avoid disasters like these happening in and around your home, here are some safety tips you can follow to make sure you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season.
- Keep your tree a few feet away from any heat sources like space heaters and fireplaces.
- Don’t use lit flames on or near your tree, wrappings or decorations.
- Cut a couple inches off the tree base before putting it into a tree stand with water to make sure the tree absorbs the moisture. Refill the water in the tree stand every day so that it never runs dry.
- If you purchase a live tree, make sure it is fresh and not already dried up. Fresh trees will stay alive longer and are less of a fire hazard.
- Overloading outlets with too many devices can cause overheating and lead to a fire. Make sure all electrical cords aren’t pinched by windows, doors or furniture.
- Limit your incandescent lighting strand connections to three together at once. More than that can cause problems, so plan your decorating accordingly.
- Don’t mount outdoor lights in a way that could damage the insulation in the string and cause electrical shorts.
- Unplug decorations before replacing any bulbs or fuses.
- If you’re purchasing new lights, LED lights run cooler and use less energy than incandescent lights.
- Check all your electrical decorations for cracks, loose connections or bare wires which can lead to fires or severe shocks.
- Never leave your holiday lights on when you’re not at home or going to bed.
- Try not to use candles. If you need candles, use battery-operated candles instead.
- Don’t leave open flames unattended. Extinguish all flames when leaving the room or the house.
- Only purchase your electrical decorations from trustworthy sources. If electronic decorations are getting old and worn, consider fixing or simply retiring them.