If Christmas lights are not properly handled/installed, it might result in a fire outbreak or electric shock.
According to a report received from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, one in every five injuries from Christmas/holiday decorations treated in emergency rooms of various hospitals in the country is associated with Christmas tree lights. Also, the National Fire Protection Association reports that Christmas lights are involved in almost 400 fires each year, resulting in injuries, loss of lives, and damage to property worth over $10 million.
It’s been discovered that short circuiting lights are the major cause of Christmas light hazard.
Below are a few ways to minimize the risk of fire or being electrocuted while you install your Christmas lights and Christmas decorations powered by electric this season.
- Ensure staples, stacks and nails do not pierce the wire when hanging lights. To prevent this, you should use a plastic cable tie instead.
- You should never be closer than 10 feet to a power line. With trees having power lines running above, near or through them, being too close can pose a threat to one’s life. Do not place light strands or electrical cords in trees.
- Avoid using lighted candles on trees or decorations. In case of power outage, use flashlights rather than candles.
- Beware of counterfeit or poor quality electrical products. Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), this is an independent, nonprofit organization that examines and certify electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.
- Check for frayed cords, broken wires and loose cables in every indoor and outdoor decorative lighting. If there’s a problem with any of the light strings, discard it.
- Use only lights and extension cords designed for outdoor purposes if you are placing them outside.
- Remove the light plugs from the outlet when you are going away from home or to bed. You can also save energy by using a timer that only keeps the lights on for the hours you choose.
Avoid using more than three strands of light per electrical outlet. An overload can cause a short circuit and thus a fire.