As your neighborhood begins to light up with holiday cheer, it is important to remember some simple safety tips to keep your home and family safe this holiday season.

Inspect Your Lights

Prior to hanging your lights, whether it be indoor or outdoor, it is important to thoroughly inspect each strand of lights for damage. Even when lights are brand new, they could be damaged. Throw out any string of lights with frayed wires or broken sockets. If any bulbs are burnt out, replace them with bulbs of the same size and watt. Empty light sockets can cause the entire light string to overheat, leading to a fire hazard. To prevent damaging your lights, carefully handle them and take precaution when storing them. The wires will begin to fray if the cords are stretched. Be gentle with your lights and they should stay in better condition for longer.

Read the Labels

There are designated holiday lights made for indoor and outdoor use, or both. Although outdoor lights can be used indoors, you should never use indoor-only lights outdoors. Outdoor lights are built to be weather resistant, so they can withstand snow, ice, and rain. When you place indoor-only lights outdoors, you run the risk of electric shock or fire. Every box of lights will be labeled for indoor or outdoor use, and if you don’t have the box – don’t risk it. Always make sure your lights are weather resistant before placing them outdoors.

The label on your lights will also notify you how many strings of lights you should connect to one another. It is important not to disobey the manufacturer’s recommendation to make sure your lights don’t burn up causing a fire. Some of the newer Christmas lights have small fuses to protect against this safety hazard, but if your lights are unlabeled, never connect more than 3 strings of lights together.

Don’t Overload Extension Cords

Along with your holiday lights, there are also certain extension cords made to be weather resistant that should be used outside. Double check to make sure you are using an outdoor extension cord. Also, make sure not to overload your extension cords with too many cords. When the extension cords are jammed full, they can become overheated causing a fire hazard in your home.

Turn Your Lights Off

Leaving your holiday lights on throughout the night is not only a fire hazard but it also can run your electric bill high. If your lights aren’t installed properly, leaving them on for extended amounts of time can be very hazardous. The longer your lights are on, the warmer they will get. If you are forgetful at night and don’t remember to shut your lights off, you can purchase timers to connect your holiday lights to that will automatically turn your lights on and off at set times.

It is also important to take down your holiday lights within 90 days of putting them up. If they stay up too long they could become damaged and cause safety hazards for your home.

Fire Repair Experts

If you experience a fire this holiday season, whether small or large, ServiceMaster by Rice can help with the cleanup. Our fire repair experts are trained to help with your furniture and carpet, cabinets, ceilings, walls floors, soft goods, and structural restoration.

Our crew at ServiceMaster by Rice would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.