Lighting Safety

Holiday lights give the season a touch of magic. The following safety tips will help you keep your home safe from potential hazards associated with indoor and outdoor lights.
Indoor Lighting

Although candles add a special touch to the holiday, you need to take special precautions with them. 

  • Make sure they are placed in sturdy, non-combustible holders, away from decorations and other combustible materials.
  • Check your candles frequently to make sure they don't burn down too far or drip hot wax. 
  • Keep small children away from candles and never leave children unattended in a room with lit candles. 
  • Keep matches and lighters up high out of the reach of children. 
  • Do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
Strings of light also add a warm glow to your home, especially on your tree.
  • Make certain you check all of your light strands and cords for worn insulation, bare wires, lights with broken or cracked sockets, or loose connections. If you find broken strings, do not try to repair the string. Throw it away. 
  • Be careful not to overload electrical outlets. Never string more than three sets of lights on an extension cord. 
  • Do not string lights behind drapes or under carpets.

Exterior Lighting 

Lights strung on the outside of your home require additional consideration. 

  • Use only lights and extension cords specifically listed for outdoor use by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). UL is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization. 
  • Check all light strings for fraying, aging, and heat damage. Throw away any strings that show signs of damage. 
  • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into an outlet. 
  • If you are using a ladder, avoid contact with overhead power lines when setting up your ladder, stringing lights, or working on the roof. 
  • If extension cords and light strings are connected together outdoors, keep the connections dry by wrapping them with friction tape or plastic.
Always look for the manufacturer's recommendations on the number of lights strings that can be strung together and other precautions listed on the packaging for the lights. 

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