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Top 10 Holiday Lights Safety Tips


It is the most beautiful season of the year again and the time to create a magical home – full of holiday lights. However, these beautiful and sometimes sparkling lights can be responsible for many cases of home fires, property damage, civilian injuries, and civilian death. That is why taking proper precautions is crucial. Don’t let your holiday lights ruin this beautiful season of the year. Here are the holiday lights safety tips you can follow.


Tip 1: Use only Christmas Lights That Are UL Certified

Christmas Lights that have UL safety Certification from an independent testing laboratory like Underwriter’s Laboratory are evaluated and tested to make sure that the manufacturer’s merchandise meets the industry safety standards. These lights are safer to use than those that do not have UL certification.


Tip 2: Replace Old Or Broken Christmas Lights

Before using your old Christmas Lights, check their condition to make sure that they are still safe to use. Check for broken or worn cords, cracked or broken sockets, and loose bulb connections. Replace any damaged lights.


Tip 3: Follow The Three Sets Rule

If you want to be on the safe side of strand wattage and capacity of the plug, many manufacturers recommend plugging in only one to three sets of Christmas lights into a single extension cord. Plugging in more than three sets of Christmas lights can cause problems with overheating and may lead to fire hazards. 


Tip 4: Switch to LED Christmas Lights

If you are into purchasing new sets of Christmas lights, choose LED lights. Not only LED lights use less electricity – which is a good way of saving your energy- they are not hot to touch. So, you don’t have to worry about you or your children getting burned from touching them. Moreover, LED lights can last longer and they have better quality.

Oftentimes, holiday fires are caused by overheated lights, so using LED lights instead of the traditional ones can keep your tree from catching fire.


Tip 5: Use Indoor and Outdoor Lights, Accordingly

Christmas lights are labeled according to their use. You will see a disclaimer like “for outdoor use only” or “for indoor use only”. Some Christmas lights are suitable to be used both indoor and outdoor. Make sure to follow this instruction as indoor-only Christmas lights cannot be used outdoor and vice versa.

Indoor Christmas lights are not insulated, unlike outdoor ones. If indoor lights are exposed to moisture, water or snow can be hazardous.


Tip 6: Secure Loose Light Strands

If you have to use extension cords to connect your Christmas lights from your Christmas tree to the outlet, securely tape the loose light strands down (you can use electrical tape) to prevent injuries like tripping or falling. If the loose light strands are outside of your home, you can secure them by using ground staples (can be bought in a hardware shop). Simple put the staples around the light and push them as hard as you can into the ground.

However, when hanging outdoor lights to trees, roofs, or walls do not use staples or nails as they can damage the wire insulation and might lead to a fire. Instead, you can use light clips or UL approved hanger.


Tip 7: Use a GFCI Outlet for Outdoor Christmas Lights

Outdoor Christmas lights should be plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI. This type of outlet prevents electric shock from electrical systems when exposed to wet conditions like rain or snow.  


Tip 8: Do not Use Real Candles

When decorating your Christmas tree with lights, never use real candles. Instead, you can use flameless LED candles. But if you opt to use real candles, make sure to follow candle fire safety guidelines.


Tip 9: Turn Off Your Lights

Christmas lights and other decorations should never be left on for a long time or overnight. Ordinary Christmas lights or even LED lights can get overheated and may cause a fire. Make sure to turn off your lights when leaving your home or going to bed to prevent a house fire. 

You may opt to use a light timer and set it to the time you want to turn off your lights or a wireless control to turn them off using an app installed on your phone. Aside from protecting your home from fire hazards, you can also save money in your electricity bills when using them.


Tip 10: Store Light Properly

Once the holiday season is over and it is time to take down your Christmas lights, make sure to organize them properly and keep them from getting tangled. Tangled lights can cause damage to cords and break sockets. Using a piece of cardboard, wrap the strings around it, then cover it with a fabric or paper. Make sure to store all your Christmas lights in a sturdy container to prevent rodent access and water damage.


These holiday lights safety tips will help you to be safe and enjoy this joyous season of the year. Make sure to follow the holiday lights safety tips. For professional fire damage, smoke removal and water damage restoration services, please contact Fire and Water Damage Riverside.


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