Holiday Lights - Safety Tips
Be sure to follow these safety tips when using holiday lights.
- Holiday lights are beautiful and much safer than candles, but the electricity can cause problems if not used properly. Some holiday lights get hot enough to burn or ignite other decorations and cords can fray leading to a short.
- Choose lights that have been tested and deemed safe by a reputable testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL. Lights listed tested and safe by these laboratories will be noted on the packaging.
- Try to use the cooler-burning LED "mini" colored lights as opposed to the traditional larger bulbs.
- Only use lights with fuses in the plugs.
- Inspect each set of lights - old or new - for damage. Return or dispose of any set with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
- Promptly replace burned out bulbs with bulbs of the same wattage.
- Never hang lights on a metal tree. The tree can become charged with electricity and shock someone or short out the lights and cause a fire.
- Outdoors, only use those lights indicated for outdoor use. The packaging will indicate whether the lights can be used indoors, outdoors, or both.
- All outdoor electrical decorations should be plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). You can buy portable units for outdoor use, or you can have them permanently installed by an electrician.
- Use extension cords properly.
- Outdoor cords can be used inside or outside. Be sure not to overload extension cords as they can get hot enough to burn.
- Decorating with lights often requires the use of a ladder, and improper use could lead to an injury. Practice ladder safety when you are putting up lights. (more)
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