Lights, inside and out, are a beautiful part of the holiday season.
But before you deck the halls, run through this holiday lights safety checklist to keep your holidays merry and bright.
#1 Inspect Light Strings
Discard any that are damaged. Frayed or cracked electrical cords or broken sockets are leading fire hazards.
#2 Replace Burned-Out Bulbs Promptly
Empty sockets can cause the entire string to overheat.
#3 Make Sure Outdoor Lighting Is UL-Rated for Exterior Use
Exterior lights, unlike those used inside the house, need to be weather-resistant. The same goes for any extension cords used outdoors.
#4 Don't Attach Light Strings with Nails or Staples
They can cut through the wire insulation and create a fire hazard. Only use UL-approved hangers.
Related: 6 Need-to-Know LED Holiday Light Tips
#5 Take Exterior Lights Down Within 90 Days
The longer they stay up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather and critters chewing on them.
#6 Store Lights Safely
Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. After the holidays, coil each string loosely around a stiff piece of cardboard, wrap it in paper or fabric to protect the bulbs, and store in a sturdy container until next year.