Decorate safely for the holidays
Sparkling lights and dazzling decorations are hallmarks of the holiday season. Make sure your holiday decorating is done with safety in mind.
14 tips for a safer holiday season
- Use only holiday lights that have been safety tested and have the UL label.
- Before decorating, check each light strand for broken sockets, frayed cords, or faulty plugs.
- Always be sure to unplug the lights when replacing a bulb.
- Don’t string together more than three standard-size sets of lights or you could risk overheating the circuit.
- Outdoors, use only lights, cords, animated displays and decorations rated for outdoor use.
- Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them.
- Take extra care not to throw strings of lights over tree branches that are near power lines and service connections.
- Place fresh-cut trees away from heat sources—such as heat registers, fireplaces, radiators, and televisions.
- Also, remember to water fresh-cut trees frequently.
- Match plugs with outlets. Don’t force a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet or extension cord.Don’t remove the third prong.
- Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. Do not run them through doorways; staple, nail, or tack them to the wall; or hide them under rugs or carpets.
- Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home. Make sure extension cords are in good condition and are UL-approved cords rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them.
- Don’t let children or pets play with light strands for electrical decorations.
- If you spot an electrical danger—such as flickering or dimming lights or sparks from outlets, plugs, or cords—make sure to unplug the malfunctioning appliance immediately and get a replacement.
We wish you and yours a bright, safe holiday season.