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Holiday Safety Tips: Before, During and After

by Christina Crow-Dufault 6 December, 2011 09:57

It's that time of year again. Yes, time for many of us to begin decorating for the holidays (if you haven't started already).  If your last name is Griswold, please pay attention.  If not, still pay attention, as it is very important to take your lighting seriously this holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, thirty per cent of all home fires occur during December, January and February.  In addition, nearly 6,000 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. More than half of these injuries involve falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. We could tell you about all the injuries, but instead, here are some of the most common holiday decoration and lighting tips to keep you safe!



Before you start rigging up the lights, run your decorations through a quick check.  Inspect your string lights. Are they frayed, cracked or have damaged sockets? Do you see any broken wires or loose connections? These are hazards and may cause electrical shock or start a fire. Discard and replace damaged items

Also, check that all electrical products, this includes indoor and outdoor are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL.

Indoor & Outdoor Decorations

DO NOT connect more string lights than the manufacturer recommends.  Typically, it is no more than three light strings for one extension cord.  Light strings with stacked plugs can usually accommodate longer lengths than end-to-end connections.

"If one goes out"... unplug the entire set and then replace the bulb.  Replace burned-out bulbs promptly.  An empty socket can cause the entire string to overheat.

Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if using them outside. Seems simply enough, keep in mind, lighting intended for outdoor use will be too hot for interior use.  Here's a interior lighting tip: Try LED string lights, they are cool to the touch and are as energy efficient as you can get!

Don't attach light strings with nails or staples.  Use UL-approved hangers.


Take exterior lights down within 90 days.  The longer they are up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather and even the chance that a small critter might chew on them. 

Store your lights safely.  Be sure to untangle lights before putting them away.  Tangled lights can result in damaged cords and broken sockets.  Wrapping them around a piece of cardboard and then wrapped in paper or fabric to protect the bulbs is your best bet. Also, keep your lighting in a study container for years of continued use. 

Do you have any Holiday Lighting Tips?

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable holiday season,



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