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 are involved in an estimated average of 160 home structure fires each year which caused an average of nine deaths, 13 injuries and $9 million in property damage. Electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in two-thirds of those fires. 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.