(WYTV) – As the holiday season begins, many have already decorated their homes and Christmas trees with lights.
While decorating for Christmas and enjoying the holidays, it’s important to keep safety in mind.
“We recommend, certainly, for any outdoor lights you have GFCI protection on those lights, and all connections are covered and off the ground so they don’t get wet,” said Nick Castrilla, owner of Mr. Electric.
For indoor lights, Castrilla recommends turning them off when going to bed or out the door for work.
“There’s plenty of timers you could use to make sure you don’t have to remember to use them all the time. Turn them off so then when it’s late, they will automatically go out and then you don’t have to worry about it,” Castrilla said.
If you prefer a real tree, it’s important to keep it watered to prevent starting a fire. Castrilla also suggests LED bulbs for safety.
“Those old incandescent lights definitely draw more current and get very hot, so for indoor lights, definitely we recommend LEDs,” he said.
Castrilla suggests having a professional to hang your lights for you. But if you’d prefer to do it yourself, Youngstown Battalion Chief Silverio Caggiano said to be cautious while decorating.
“If there’s any wearing, like a nail, like we’ve seen in Christmas Vacation, stapling in the house, that’s a no, no, because that staple can act as a bridge between the negative and positive and start a fire,” he said.
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two of every five home Christmas tree fires, so Caggiano said to use lights and power strips that have been approved for use.
“Don’t just buy lights. Make sure they have Underwriter Lab or some kind of certified lab certificate on the lights, ” he said.