Holiday Decorating Safety: Don’t Let Your Celebration Be a Statistic

The time has come once again for holiday lights and decorations to come out of storage and make our homes beautiful and festive.  As the excitement builds for fun times ahead, make sure you keep safety in mind. You don’t want a sudden fire or electrical issue to wreak havoc on your holiday plans.

Real or Fake? Know the Difference

If a real Christmas tree is on your shopping list, make sure to choose a tree that is fresh, and the limbs don’t break or snap when bent.  When you trim the tree, cut a couple of inches off the trunk so it absorbs water better. Water the tree daily and remove it from your home when dry.  Keep the tree at least three feet away from any heat source.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.

If you choose to put up an artificial tree, check that it is labed “fire resistant.” Fake trees do have a shelf life.  Research the company and the quality of the product before your buy. 

Types of Lights 

Indoor lights are made with thin wire since they are not exposed to the outdoor elements.  String lights meant for outdoor use have thicker wrapping around the electrical wires for protection.  Use indoor lights indoors, and outside lights outdoors. Be sure to replace any lights that have damaged cords.  

Turn off the tree lights and other inside holiday lights or decorations before you go to sleep or leave your house.  You don’t want flames to erupt during these times. 

Consider using LED lights for your indoor decorations.  They don’t get as hot as traditional bulbs and will reduce your energy bill cost.

Replace Old Cords

Speaking of wires, check any extension cords you will be using outdoors to make sure they are not damaged.  If they are, buy some new cords to replace them. Use heavy-duty extension cords marked for outdoor use outside.  

Never plug all the lights and decorations into a single plug, or too many things into a power strip or extension cord. Pay attention to the wattage. Overloading a cord or power strip can lead to overheating and may cause a fire.

Inspect the electrical decorations and look for frayed wires, cracks and broken light sockets.  Make sure the decorations are in working order.  

Take measures to protect your cords from damage.  Keep them out of reach of small children and pets, and away from other potential hazards, such as doors or furniture. 

Use Candles With Caution

Candles are beautiful, but when they are lit, keep them away from decorations and other items that can burn.  Also, keep space heaters away from decorations and combustible things.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles.  More than two of every five happen when decorations are placed too close to a heat source. 

Have a Game Plan

Make a plan before you jump into decorating.  Figure out where the decorations are going to go, where the wall outlets are, and how many plugs you have.  Check package directions on the lights to determine how many light sets can be plugged into one socket. 

Don’t let an electrical accident ruin your festivities.  Practice good electrical safety. Know what precautions to take to prevent fires and keep electrical issues away.

Need Help? Contact Us for all of Your Electrical Needs

The folks at CKElectric can handle all of your electrical projects, big or small!  Need a service call? Our electricians can help you figure out why your outlets have stopped working or your panel keeps tripping. 

We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland.  Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at  We are happy to serve you!


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