ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Tips for Christmas Light Safety

Updated on February 28, 2013
Inspecting light sets before you put them up will help ensure a safe Christmas.
Inspecting light sets before you put them up will help ensure a safe Christmas. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

Every year, as Thanksgiving rolls around with Christmas following hot on its heals, those of us who celebrate Christmas start thing about putting up the Christmas lights and decorations. Before putting up those lights, however, you may want to consider running through a lighting checklist.

1) Untangling Old Light Sets

Begin by untangling the old light sets. Be careful not to tie the cords in knots, or to break the cords, plugs, light bulbs and light sockets. Replace any broken light bulbs.

2) Checking Wiring

Carefully check the wiring for breaks or cracks and for damaged light bulb sockets and plugs. If there are damages to these parts of any light set, toss it out.

3)Checking for Burned Out Lights

Plug in each light set to check for burned out bulbs or blown fuses. Unplug problem sets, replace light bulbs and fuses as necessary, then re-plug the light sets into the outlet. If a new fuse does not fix the problem, toss that light set.

4) Hanging Lights Inside and Outside

Hanging lights on the tree is a no brainer. Most lights inside can be draped or wrapped around things like banisters. Lights hung outside around the roof line can be hung with a set of hooks that slide between the roof and the shingles. However, lights along the roof top or around tree trunks are most frequently hung with staples. The problem arises when staples pierce the lighting cords. To be safe, make sure to aim each staple’s tines so that they straddle the cord. If the staple punctures the cord, it could short out the wire, or worse, start a fire.

5) Extension Cords

Check extension cords for damaged plastic coating as well as broken wires and plugs. Throw away any damaged extension cords. This is a no brainer, but bears repeating: Be sure to use indoor extension cords only indoors. They aren’t rated for outdoor use.

6) When Is Enough Too Much

Know where you will plugging in each light set and find out how much voltage each outlet and its circuit breaker can handle. If you’re not paying attention, it’s quite easy to over load a circuit. If your taste for lighting exceeds the amount of electricity that your circuit breaker panel can handle, then it may be time to consider using a generator to pick up the slack.

7) Taking Down and Storing Lights

When taking down lights, wind them up around slats of cardboard to keep them from getting tangled. Check the lights and cords over before storing them for problems that may have developed while they were set up.

Keeping your Christmas lights in working order and discarding damaged light sets will prevent holiday fires. By exercising a safety before setting up Christmas lights and before putting them away each year, you and your family have a safer - and happier - Christmas


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago

      To Just Ask Susan: The possiblity of starting fires worries me too. And I too am amazed at some of the Christmas light displays. I don't have the patience for tha amount of work, but I don't mind checking out the displays of those that love to set the up.

      To danski344: Those LED lights are great. They aren't quite as bright as the incandescent bulbs, but like you say, they cost less to run because they use less energy and they burn a lot longer.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My name Dan just joined week ago trying to passionate

      Suggest expand on extension cord idea being a safety person your blog is a good reminder to let us not forget about our safety issues as Christmas can be so ovrewhelming LED real Good saves 10x as any other bubls

    • jaywigz311 profile image


      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very informative, thank you.

    • thewahm profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub! I am a huge fan of lots of lights! A few years ago hubby and I decided to do lights on the outside of our home. After an entire day of hanging them we flicked the on switch only for the lights to cut on for about 2 minutes then go out. We spent hours trying to find the broken or loose bulb. After no luck we were certain the lights were broken. We took them all down and took them back to the store. I explained why we were returning them and the lady informed me that we had to many plugged in together! DUH! That's when it hit me, we never even checked to see what the max was. Thank god we did not have a fire.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips for Christmas lights. I am always so careful as it terrifies me think how easily a fire can be started. Loved the video's. Amazing how people go so utterly crazy when it comes to decorating their homes with lights.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)