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Holiday Decorating

The holidays are even better when merry and bright, but the addition of candles, lights and decorations can bring unforeseen safety issues with it. With just a few simple precautions you can keep your friends and loved ones safe during the holidays.

  • Check light strands, extension cords and any other decorations with cords before use and throw away or repair those with damage.
  • Keep electric cords for decorations off the sidewalk, driveways, doorsteps and other pathways to avoid falls. If using light stakes, make sure someone can’t trip over the cord between the stakes.
  • Ensure all outdoor lighting is grounded, including low-voltage outdoor security lights and any decorative lights, and only use decorations that are specifically rated for outdoor use.
  • Avoid overload on electric outlets with too many lights and decorations plugged into one outlet and never string extension cords or more than three strands of lights together.
  • Use battery-powered lights or flameless candles in decorations, such as Jack-O-Lanterns or holiday centerpieces.
  • Outdoor fixtures should be rated as "water resistant/UL approved for outdoor use." Consider using battery-operated or solar-powered, break-resistant fixtures for decorations outside.
  • Use only covered electric outlets with GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters).
  • Do not decorate utility poles, transformers or meters.
  • Look for the UL mark on appliances if purchasing new items for holiday celebrations. The UL mark is used by manufacturers to indicate that an appliance meets specific safety standards.
  • Keep dry leaves away from outdoor lighting, outlets and power cords to avoid a fire hazard.

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