Decorating with Holiday Lights? Here’s How to Reduce Electrical Hazards

With just two weeks until Christmas day, many people are in the full swing of holiday spirit. From trees to stockings and shopping, homes across the nation are looking merry and bright. For many people, this also includes lights.

Make safety your top priority when decorating with holiday lights! Electrical hazards are common during the holidays, which is why it is so important to ensure that your home will be safe when adding these new decorations. Take advantage of these tips to help keep you and your family stay safe from electrical hazards when installing holiday lighting and decorations. 

Initial Precautions

Choose the right light for the job. Light strings and other decorations are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage. Replace any damaged electrical products including cords, plugs, and ornaments. 

Never plug excess lighting into an outlet. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire. Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlets when plugging in outdoors. Once the package is opened, check for the appropriate approval sticker found on the cord for products incorporating light strings.

Using Extension Cords/Plugs

Avoid overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords, as this promotes overheating and the potential for a fire. Fuses that frequently blow and circuits that trip can indicate too many items are connected to the circuit.

Never remove the third prong on plugs. This component is known as a grounding pin, which helps prevent shock in the event of electrical equipment failure. It is crucial that you always plug outdoor electrical decorations into Ground Fault (GFCI)-protected outlets.

Never run extension cords under carpets, through doorways, or in places where they can be damaged by furniture. Keep outdoor connections above-ground and out of puddles. Do not run them across driveways and/or walkways.


No more than three light strings can be safely connected together in most cases. Read manufacturers’ instructions for precise directions. Make sure bulbs are not in contact with supply cords, wires, cloth, paper, or any material that is not part of the light string.

Be sure to use the proper clips for securing lights and decorations. Staples and nails can damage electrical cords. You will also want to check for overhead power lines prior to using a ladder to put up decorations, or when you are hanging lights or decorations on the trees.

Keep in mind that holiday decorations are not designed for year-round use and are likely to eventually deteriorate over time. Be prompt on taking the decor down when the holidays are over, so you can maximize its lifespan and safety for years to come.

Other Considerations 

It is extremely important that we watch children with a close eye when decorating. Never let them put electrical decorations or cords in their mouths. Also, keep an eye on pets that may chew or damage electrical cords.

Lastly, make sure your home in properly protected by contacting a New Mexico insurance agency (to confirm your homeowners insurance coverage) and turning off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed.

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that people like you face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.