Tips for hanging holiday lights. Photo of a man on a ladder hanging Christmas lights on his house.

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As the festive season approaches, homes and businesses illuminate in sparkling glory. However, many families and individuals suffer from accidents and injuries related to holiday decoration mishaps every year. With home light displays reaching new heights in popularity and complexity, prioritizing Christmas light safety becomes paramount. Here are 10 holiday light safety tips to ensure your celebrations remain joyous and injury-free.

Don’t Be Another Statistic

Data suggests that emergency rooms treat about 12,000 to 15,000 people every holiday season for injuries related to holiday decorations, including falls, cuts, and shocks. Furthermore, according to sources like the National Fire Protection Association, decorations, excluding Christmas trees, cause an average of 770 home fires annually.

10 Safety Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

1. Choose the Right Lights

Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, always opt for lights that have been tested and rated by recognized testing laboratories like UL or ETL/ITSNA. This ensures they meet safety standards.

2. Check for Damages

Before stringing up lights, inspect them for frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. Damaged lights can pose a fire risk, so it’s best to discard and replace them.

3. Use Outdoor-Rated Lights for Outdoors

Ensure you’re using outdoor-rated lights when decorating outside. These lights are designed to withstand weather conditions, reducing the risk of electric shocks or fires.

4. Don’t Overload Outlets

An overloaded outlet is a major fire hazard. Plug no more than three strands of lights into a single extension cord, and ensure the extension cord is rated for its intended use.

5. Ladder Safety is Crucial

According to data, falls from ladders during holiday decorating lead to thousands of injuries annually. Always place your ladder on solid, even ground. Avoid reaching too far when on the ladder it’s safer to move the ladder instead.

6. Use Plastic Clips, Not Nails

Use insulated holders or plastic clips instead of nails or tacks when securing lights. This reduces the risk of puncturing the wires, which can lead to electrical issues.

7. Turn Lights Off When Not Home

Lower the risk of a fire by turning off your holiday lights when you’re not home or before going to bed. Consider using timers to automate this process.

8. Keep Away from Flammable Materials

Position lights away from materials like paper, curtains, or other flammables. Every year, fire departments respond to hundreds of structure fires caused by Christmas light mishaps.

9. Stay Clear of Power Lines

When decorating outside, always be aware of overhead power lines. Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet to ensure safety.

10. Store Safely

After the festivities, store your lights in a well-sealed container to keep them free from moisture and potential damage.

Gift Yourself Peace of Mind These Holidays

Potential risks shouldn’t overshadow the joy and wonder that holiday lights bring. Families can enjoy a bright and merry season without unwelcome incidents by practicing proper Christmas light safety.

You may also be worried about the energy costs of keeping those merry lights twinkling all holiday season. If you’re looking for smart ways to lower your electricity bill, check out all the resources we have at, including our tools for finding the best energy rate for your household or blogs on how to reduce your home’s overall energy consumption.

Stay safe and happy decorating!