How to Use Christmas Lights Safely

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Christmas lights are a beautiful addition to the holiday season. Strung from homes and trees, they make festive decorations. Take a few precautions to make sure your lights are safe and don't pose a fire hazard for you or your neighbors.

Things You'll Need

  • Christmas Tree Lights
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Combination Smoke/carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Heavy-duty Extension Cords
  • Keep Christmas lights stored in a covered box, wrapped neatly around a plastic light organizer, or just loosely wrapped, untangled.

  • Check each and every light for broken or non-functioning bulbs. Discard lights that don't work and replace with new bulbs.

  • Make sure cords and wiring are intact. Avoid frayed cords - discard immediately if frayed.

  • Know that there are separate lights for indoor and outdoor use. Use indoor lights inside your home, and UL-approved outdoor lights outside.

  • Turn off all Christmas lights when you go to bed.

  • Use mini, low-voltage lights on a tree. The large lights generate too much heat and can dry out your tree faster, making it a fire hazard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stress fire safety to your family around the December holiday season, when matches, candles and decorative lights are being used much more.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in your home and have functional smoke detectors installed.
  • If a fire breaks out in your home, leave immediately and call 911 from a neighbor's home.

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