The holidays are here and so is the time to string lights, put up a tree or compete for best holiday yard display. With the U.S. Fire Administration citing electrical problems as the cause for one in every three home Christmas tree fires, CPS Energy reminds customers to decorate safely. You can reduce that risk by keeping candles well away from trees and keeping them well-watered. Check out our blog to see a dramatic video of how quickly a dry tree can catch fire.
Following some helpful tips can prevent falling hazards, and electrical fires sparked by overloaded light strands or other problems.
- Use the right ladder height and keep ladders away from power lines when hanging lights and decorations.
- Use hooks when hanging lights. Do not staple or nail light strands.
- Be sure lights are approved for outdoors and are not indoor lights.
- Make sure pre-lit artificial trees are fire resistant and have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Do not hang lights on metal trees.
- Discard lights that are broken, have frayed or bare wires, or have loose connections.
- Do not string more than three sets of lights together, unless they are LEDs, to avoid overloading.
- Keep all sockets on a string of lights filled even if a bulb is burned out.
- Tape cords down to prevent trip hazards; placing cords under a carpet or rug creates a fire risk.
- Turn off lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
Along with safety tips, CPS Energy offers cost comparison information for holiday lights to keep electric bills manageable during the holiday season.