Don’t Let Christmas Lights Become a Fire Hazard

fire-hazard-christmas_lightsChristmas is a wonderful time of the year…for most us.  We love the decorations and lights but how much though do we put adorning our houses without causing a fire hazard?  Firefighters and law enforcement will tell you – not enough.
Already this year, in Eatontown NJ, a family was left homeless by faulty Christmas lights that burned down their house at night, while they were sleeping. Luckily for the residents, everyone was able to get out safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  

What can you do to ensure that your holiday decorations don’t cause the “Nightmare before Christmas”?  Here are a few tips from the fire damage restoration experts at Maven:

  1. Always use Power Strips – power strips almost always contain a circuit breaker that will automatically shut the power strip off.  This helps prevent a particular circuit from being overloaded.
  2. 3-in-1 Rule of Thumb – a great rule of thumb provided by an electrician friend of ours is the “3-in-1” rule.  Never bring more than 3 strands of lights into one circuit.  Plus, the newer LED lighting uses even less electricity which will help ensure the circuit’s integrity.
  3. Install Weatherproof Outlets for Outdoor Lighting – picture your outdoor socket all loaded up with plugs from various Christmas lighting displays.  What would happen to that socket if your sprinkler systems can on at 5am (like mine does) and sprayed a stream of water all over those connections?  How would that outlet fair if a cold front pushed a steady drizzle of rain in?  Weatherproof outlets are simple to install and eliminate one of our main lighting related fire hazards here in Florida.
  4. Inspect Repeatedly – make it a habit to check your plugs, cords and bulbs frequently.  Feel bulbs, especially bulbs around flammable materials like curtains and wreaths.  Are the bulbs hot to the touch?  Are cords frayed or worn in any way?  Are they hot to the touch?


Christmas time should be about fun and family…not about fires, damaged property and most of all injuries.  Following these 4 tips will help ensure that you and your family stay safe and happy for many holiday seasons to come!