Making the Holidays Merry, Bright and Safe

December 4, 2018

Decorating your home, yard or work space is a fun, festive way to celebrate this special time of the year. Here are some tips for keeping the holiday season merry, bright and safe:

Safety first!

  • Inspect each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, loose connections, and frayed or bare wires. Throw away all damaged cords.
  • Make sure the wattage rating of each extension cord is greater than the wattage of all lights and decorations plugged into it. Wattage ratings indicate the maximum power a device can safely handle.
  • Exterior lights need to be weather-resistant, which will be indicated on the UL label. The same goes for any extension cords used outdoors.
  • Before replacing a bulb on a string of lights, make sure the wattage rating of the replacement bulb matches that of the light strand.
  • Connect no more than three strands of incandescent lights together per plug. LEDs can have up to 30 strands connected per plug.
  • Use a timer or unplug all indoor and outdoor lights before going to bed.

Decorate efficiently!

  • LED lights use 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights and tend to last 25 times longer.
  • Look for “warm” white on the label of LED lights to achieve the look of incandescent lights.
  • Consider do-it-yourself decorations using inexpensive materials like plywood, PVC piping, tomato cages and string lights.
  • Stock up on holiday lights and decorations right after Christmas when they are on clearance.
  • Set timers for lights to automatically turn on when it gets dark and off in the middle of the night.
  • Remember to keep decorations far from electrical equipment such as pad-mount transformers, utility poles and electric meters.

By taking the proper precautions both inside and outside of the home, you can prevent hazards and focus on friends and family during the holidays. For more holiday decorating tips, visit