Home Improvement

Holiday Decorating Safety: 4 Tips on Using Christmas Lights

Buy from a reputable seller and take note of your home's electrical load


Colorful and twinkling Christmas lights add a cozy feel to any home during the holidays. Since they've become a favorite decor piece during the merry season, sellers have come up with different designs and colors.

While they are pleasing to the eye, these lights can cause fires and accidents too. To avoid such mishaps, it's best to take note of a few reminders such as buying only from trusted suppliers and checking electrical connections at home.

Always think safety first and consider these tips:

Main photos from: AnaRosa and A Beautiful Mess.

Test the lights before making any purchase

Most stores allow you to test the lights before you actually pay for it. Check the box and make sure that it's a trusted brand. Don't hesitate to ask the store attendant about the item—especially about maintenance, electrical consumption, and the like.

Make sure you read the labels and manuals too so you can install it properly at home.

Do not overload your extension cord

Are you familiar with "octopus" connections? Some homeowners are guilty of this because they plug almost everything into extension cords—from chargers to appliances, making it one of the most common causes of home fires. Avoid accidents by limiting the number of items plugged into each cord. If you're plugging in your Christmas lights, don't plug appliances anymore to avoid an overload.

As much as possible, conceal your extension cords as it can turn into an eyesore and may cause kids and other family members to trip.

Check and examine last year's lights if you are reusing them

Since these lights have been stored for a year, chances are, there are missing bulbs, frayed connections, and worse—they won't work anymore. Examine your lights carefully before plugging them into sockets. If worse comes to worst, it's best to buy new ones than settling for old, defective ones that may cause accidents.

Turn off the lights when not in use

Don't leave the lights turned on all-day! After all, they are best appreciated at night. Don't forget to unplug and turn the lights off before you leave the house and before going to bed. Making this a habit can help you prevent accidents and save electricity.

Source: Essential Energy.

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