“Electrical failures or malfunctions are a leading cause of the home fires caused by Christmas trees and decorative lights,” said Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)
Follow these guidelines to avoid a decorating disaster in your home:
- Water a live tree every day. Mist the branches with a spray bottle.
- Don’t leave your tree lit if you will be away from the house for more than a day.
- Use timers to automatically turn lights on and off. This may keep them from overheating.
- Check your electric extension cords and light strings. Make sure there are no exposed wires.
- Don’t overload the outlet or extension cords. Use a power strip that will trip off if too much power is drawn.
- For outdoor decorating, make sure the lights, extensions and timers are approved for outdoor use.
In addition to fires, ungrounded outdoors can cause shocks to you, your children or your pets. Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) receptacles (or portable GFCIs) to prevent electric shock.
Visit www.holidaysafety.org for more holiday safety tips!
For more tips on switching to cool energy-saving LED decorating lights, watch this video