Christmas Light Safety Tips
Christmas won’t be as bright as it should be without Christmas lights. These colorful little light bulbs have a way of lighting up and giving life to the holiday season, creating a sparkling ambiance which cheers us up. Our Christmas trees, our homes and department stores would be forlorn without these aural embellishments.
Ironically however, there is a dark side to Christmas lights. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that every year in the US, hospital emergency rooms treat a total of 12,500 cases of electrocutions, fires, falls and cuts caused by these seemingly harmless holiday ornaments. The following tips offer advice on how to prevent mishaps due to Christmas lights.
1. Look for safety seals.
Choose brands of Christmas lights which have a UL or ETL seal. Underwriters Laboratories (UL)and ETL are two of the largest product safety certification bodies in North America. They subject certain products to safety testings before stamping their approval on the product packages.
2. Smaller is cooler.
Choose the newer, tinier Christmas lights over the traditional older ones. Smaller light bulbs do not heat up to the same extent as bigger ones. They also emit a more delicate-looking light.
3. Look for switches and fuses.
Use Christmas lights which have safety switches and fuses in their plugs.
4. Check for damage.
Carefully inspect Christmas lights for damage. Whether old or new, Christmas lights should have no broken glass which could cause wounds and cuts, frayed wiring which could cause electrocution or fires, and loose connections which could lead to short circuits.
5. Go easy.
Never pull on the string of Christmas lights as this could cause fraying of the wirings.
6. Replace light bulbs.
Replace burned out light bulbs promptly, using light bulbs of the same wattage. Empty sockets are live points which could cause electrical shocks when touched.
7. Wood is better than metal.
Never ever hang Christmas lights on a metallic Christmas tree. The lights could charge the metal so that a person touching the metal could be electrocuted. Conversely, the metal tree can also short-circuit the lights and cause fire. Wooden trees are still safer.
8. Outdoor lights should be outdoor-grade.
Not all Christmas lights are safe to use outdoors. Check to see if the Christmas lights you’ll be using outdoors really are designed for the outdoors. In addition, all outdoor Christmas lights should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI.
9. Turn off before dozing off.
Never leave Christmas lights on overnight. Always turn off Christmas lights before going to bed at night. During the day, install a timer to avoid overheating.
10. Miscellaneous reminders:
- When using extension cords, do not overload to prevent overheating which could lead to fires.
- Stay away from power lines or feeder lines or those which go from poles to houses.
- Making sure you have a functional fire alarm system is especially needful during the holiday season when there is high electrical power consumption.
My Shopping List
There are no item in your list yet.
My Top Items
No items from favorite stores currently available.