There are a variety of ways to brighten up your season with holiday lighting arrangements. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage are involved in an estimated average of 160 home structure fires each year which caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 13 civilian injuries, and $9 million in direct property damage. Electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in two-thirds of those fires. In addition, 12% of home candle fires occurred in December; 1.5 times the monthly average.
When planning and implementing your lighting design, keep these holiday lighting safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of property damage, injury or death.
Unlike incandescent bulbs which generate most of their energy in heat, LEDs are cool to the touch—which also indicates greater energy-efficiency.
LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass and are much more durable.
When hanging lights outdoors, use a wooden or fiberglass ladder.
Turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.
Never drape anything over a light bulb or lamp shade.
Avoid using candles when possible. Consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
Never leave an open flame unattended. Keep burning candles within sight.
Extinguish all candles before you leave the room or go to bed.
Place lighted candles away from combustible material and areas where they might be knocked over.
Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper. Do not burn wrapping paper as a means of disposal.