Christmas lights are lovely, but don’t let your house go up in a holiday blaze

Christmas Lights

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

Christmas lights are a staple when it comes to decorating for the holiday season, but keep safety in mind along with your beautifying efforts.

Faulty or damaged lights or electric cords are the cause of many a holiday house fire, said Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Fire and Safety Educator Holly Whigham.

“First thing is, make sure you know what kind of lights you have,” she said. “Some lights are indoor-use only, so make sure you know the right kind for the right place.”

While saving money and reusing the same lights and decorations year after year is a wise plan, you’ve got to give them a checkup before adding them to your working pile.

“With Christmas lights, you want to make sure that you’re checking to see if they have any frayed cords or broken bulbs or loose bulbs,” Whigham said.

If you find broken or loose bulbs, replace them before using the lights. If the cord is frayed, toss it out.

And don’t forget there’s only so much electricity an outlet can handle. Spread the load around and there’s less of a chance for disaster.

“When you’re plugging in your lights, you want to make sure that you’re not overloading your electrical outlet,” Whigham said. “Don’t piggyback one thing after another.”

The simplest way to keep your home safe and decorated to the nines? Unplug your lights when you’re off to bed or leaving the house. Timers are also available for purchase.

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