Holiday Lights Safety

Are you like me and it looks like the Grinch lives at your house because there is not a holiday light to be found?

Or, are you more Clark Griswold and the astronauts on the International Space Station can pick out your house from outer space because of the not so subtle glow resonating from your Christmas oasis?

Well, if you are more the latter than the former, there are some safety tips you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

  1. Don't use holiday lights unless they are clearly marked with a UL label, which ensures they pass strict safety test. A red label indicates they can be used both indoors and outdoors; a green label is indoors only. Use the appropriate type of lights in the appropriate settings.
  2. Be sure to plug your light strings into a GFCI outlet. This type of outlet will shut the circuit down if there is overcurrent, which can avoid a disasterous fire.
  3. Thoroughly check over your strands of lights to make sure that all bulbs and wires are intact, and none are frayed. Faulty wires can lead to electrical shocks and fires.
  4. Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, walls, and roofs to avoid wind damage.
  5. Use no more than three (3) strings of lights per extension cord. And like your lights, make sure your extension cords are in good condition. If in doubt, throw it out!
  6. Turn off all lights when you are not home and after you go to bed. Think of your lights like candles and never leave them unattended!
  7. NEVER use electric lights on a metallic tree.
  8. Finally, never leave small children unattended around the sparkly lights. The attraction is great, and small children tend to pull on light strings, or worse, put them in their little mouths. No one wants to spend Christmas in the ER, so make sure to be vigilant!

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  • by Christine Streich
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