Keep the sparkle, avoid the sparks with safe holiday lights!

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Holiday lights add a festive touch to your home—inside and out! But before you start decorating, make sure you are “current” on how to decorate safely.

Safety rating

Bargain decorations aren't a good deal if they pose a fire hazard. Look for strings of lights that are clearly marked with a UL-Rating for safety.

Equipment check

Check cords and bulbs carefully to make sure they are not damaged. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to an electrical short, which can damage your decorations and lead to a fire.

Indoor vs. outdoor

Don’t use outdoor lights indoors; they’re too hot for interior use. LED lights are cooler and energy-efficient. Be sure that your exterior lights are UL-Rated for exterior use and weather resistance. The same goes for extension cords used outdoors.

Don't start a fire

Avoid hanging holiday lights near items that pose fire hazards. Potentially hazardous items include candles, space heaters (and fireplaces and wood-burning stoves) and paper decorations and gift wrap.

Hang with care

Never use tacks, staples or nails to hang your holiday light display. They can cut through the wire insulation and create a fire hazard. Instead, use insulated holders designed especially for this purpose.

Using extension cords

Make sure not to overload extension cords with more wattage than they’re designed to accommodate.

Turning lights off

Don't leave holiday lights on when you're away or when everyone is asleep. It might look lovely, but it isn't worth the risk.

Replace burned-out bulbs

It's dangerous to have light strings plugged in with empty sockets. Be sure the replacement bulbs you select are the correct wattage.

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