Each year, fire departments across the country respond to hundreds of home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees or holiday lights, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
“Please remember to check all of your holiday lights and power cords to make sure they are in proper, working condition,” said Juana Hernandez, with SRP Safety Connection.
Hernandez is available to provide tips with props (including lights, surge protectors, timers, etc) during TV morning shows.
Below are some tips to remember:
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, loose connections or frayed or bare wires. Discard all damaged cords.
- Indoors or out, use only lights that have been tested for safety. The lights should have the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) label.
- To hook up your outdoor lighting, use a three-prong grounded extension cord with the UL label.
- Unplug tree lights and decorative outdoor lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Automatic lighting timers can be used to ensure that lights are not left on by mistake. These are available for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Always check that cords are not in water due to sprinklers or irrigation
- When done decorating take a step back and ensure all walkways are safe by keeping electric cords out of high-traffic areas.