Bright Ideas For Safe Lighting This Season

Sparkling lights and dazzling decorations are hallmarks of the season. Make sure your holiday decorating is done with safety in mind.

Use only holiday lights that have been safety tested and have the UL label. Before decorating, check each light strand for broken sockets, frayed cords, or faulty plugs. Always be sure to unplug the lights when replacing a bulb. Don’t string together more than three standard-size sets of lights or you could risk overheating the circuit.

Outdoors, use only lights, cords, animated displays and decorations rated for outdoor use. Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with GFCIs. Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them.

Take extra care not to throw strings of lights over tree branches that are near power lines and service connections.

Your electric cooperative offers these additional tips for safe holiday decorating:

  • Place fresh-cut trees away from heat sources—such as heat registers, fireplaces, radiators, and televisions—and water the tree frequently.
  • Match plugs with outlets. Don’t force a 3-pronged plug into a 2-pronged outlet or extension cord, or remove the third prong.
  • Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. Do not run them through doorways, hide them under carpets, or staple, nail, or tack them to the wall.
  • Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Make sure extension cords are in good condition and are UL-approved cords rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them.
  • Don’t let children or pets play with light strands for electrical decorations.

We wish you and yours a bright, safe holiday season!