Holiday Lighting Tips – Is Your Home Safe?

The holidays are a time for throwing parties, spending time with family and friends, and decorating the house with lights of lights. 

It gets darker outside earlier – the holiday lights can make your home warm and inviting. But how safe are they? 

Holiday Lighting Tips - Is Your Home Safe?

Every year, the news is filled with warnings about handling holiday decorations. But what you may have thought about the source of the fire may be all wrong. 

It’s not the strands of Christmas lights that are the problem. Mythbusters proved even overloading a dry tree with warm strands of lights won’t ignite a fire. Instead, the problem starts:

  • When a heat source is too close to the tree – it starts one out of every four fires
  • From electrical problems – again, one out of every four fires starts this way

So where should you be spending your time making sure your family is safe?

First, select where you’ll place your Christmas tree carefully. Instead of tucking it into a tight corner or space, try opening up a space to give it lots of room. Be sure to avoid placing it near a fireplace, or setting portable heaters too close to the branches. Also, avoid placing candles anywhere near the tree. 

Next, focus in on making sure your electrical circuits are in good working condition. 

Never overload individual outlets. While you may wish to use a power strip to make it easy to turn the lights on your tree on and off, be sure the unit is in good working condition. Never use extension cords to extend the reach of light strands. High quality strands will have plugs already attached that make it easy to connect multiple lines together. 

Pay attention if you short the circuit. That’s your home’s way of telling you too much energy is being pulled from one location. One interruption might be a fluke; if it happens multiple times, it may be a more serious problem. 

If you notice a burning smell near your holiday lights, turn them off immediately. No, it’s probably not the lights burning next to the branches of your tree. It’s more than likely a problem with your electrical system, one that can be dangerous at best. Call in a professional electrician to ensure your home’s electrical system is safe, and won’t harm you or your family this holiday season. 

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