The sight of twinkling lights lining the neighborhood is always the first thing to put everyone in the holiday spirit. Although holiday lights brighten up the season, they can also create home safety hazards. By taking a few extra precautions, electric lights, candles and other seasonal necessities can keep risk-free holiday cheer around all season long.
Before you hang anything, make sure you are using lights that have been tested by an approved laboratory (such as Underwriter Laboratory or ETL Testing Laboratories) and comply with safety standards. If you are using lights that have been in storage, check for frayed wires and only hang lights outside that have been climate approved. As a rule, connect no more than 3 strands of lights to one another. Put all lights on timers or remember to turn them off before you go to bed.
When decking the halls, use only flame-resistant materials or keep candles and electrical sources at a safe distance from flammable décor. If you find yourself on a ladder, be sure to have another adult nearby to prevent a fall. Artificial snow sprays and spun glass add a festive touch, but can also irritate lungs – follow directions carefully to avoid inhalation.
Keep your menorah in a safe place. The tendency is to display menorahs on a windowsill, but defer to a table or fire safe surface (like aluminum foil sheets) if you have blinds and curtains. If your family uses an electrical menorah, check that the wires have not frayed or knotted while in storage. Finally, always supervise your children around the menorah to prevent accidents.