Holiday lighting safety

Lights and trees

  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, loose connections, or frayed or bare wires. Discard all damaged cords.
  • Don't connect lights while adjusting them on a tree or house. Inspect lights and plug them together before hanging.
  • Indoors or out, use only lights that have been tested for safety. The lights should have the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) label.
  • Don't let light bulbs rest on tree needles and branches. Use a clip or twist-tie to keep bulbs upright.
  • Watch young children around lights and decorations with small pieces that could be ingested.
  • Unplug tree lights and decorative outdoor lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • If you buy an artificial tree, check for a "flame resistant" label.

A photo illustration of a toddler holding a strand of holiday lights. There are three tips: 1. Watch the kids: Keep an eye on young children around decoratuions with small pieces that coule be ingested. 2. Unplug: Leave lights and other decorations unplugged when you go to bed or leave the house. 3. Check for damage: Inspect lights for broken sockets, loose connections or bare wires. Discard any damaged cords.

Cords and outlets

  • Don't overload outlets or extension cords.
  • Keep cords out of water and away from metal objects.
  • To hook up your outdoor lighting, use a three-prong grounded extension cord with the UL label.
  • Uncoil extension cords completely before using, and be sure to place them away from heat sources and bulbs.
  • Never place cords under rugs and doors or through windows where they might be pinched or become worn.

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