Holiday Lights - Central County Fire & Rescue

Holiday Lights

Christmas lights can present a hazard inside and outside the house — if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Keep your holidays festive and fire-free!

  • All electronic decorations should have the label of an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association. 
  • IMPORTANT: Some lights are only for indoor OR outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect.
  • Avoid overloading your sockets – try to limit the use of extension leads or adaptors.
  • Inspect holiday lights every year, and get rid of them if you find frayed wire, bare spots or broken sockets. Discontinue use if you notice the wires are warm to the touch.
  • Never link more than three lights strands unless the directions say it is safe.
  • Connect the strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging into an outlet.
  • Always turn off all decorations before going to bed.
  • Do not use strands of lights with missing bulbs, broken cords, or frayed wires.
  • Keep decorations that could block an exit away from windows or doors.
  • Follow all instructions that come with any decorations.
  • Do not run extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • Do not string extension cords, or more than three strands of lights together.

Be careful with other holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant (and never use lit candles to decorate a tree). Most holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.