house lightsKENTUCKY (11/29/2013) - Holiday lighting displays are a beloved holiday tradition. Many families enjoy illuminating their homes with decorative lights, and some communities even reward the household that goes above and beyond with their holiday lighting display.

But as enjoyable and eye-catching as such displays can be, they also can be equally as dangerous. Hanging lights carries a certain degree of risk, and it's best for homeowners to be as cautious as possible when erecting their holiday lighting displays.

* Start with the lights. Inspecting the lights is an important part of creating a safe holiday lighting display, and this inspection should occur before you begin decorating. Examine each string of lights for damaged wires, including any loose connections or broken sockets. Discard any damaged sets before decorating. If your inspection turns up any burned out bulbs, always replace the older bulbs with new bulbs of the same wattage. In the past, a good rule of thumb was to limit each extension cord to no more than three sets of lights. However, if using LED bulbs, which consume as much as 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, you can have more sets connected to a single extension cord.

After inspecting the lights, inspect the other tools you will be using. Make sure the ladder is sturdy and that your staple gun and other tools are ready to be used. If any tools fail your inspection, delay the decorating until you can find adequate replacements.

* Only decorate in the daytime. Sunlight can be sparse during the holiday season, when the sun goes down before many working men and women leave their offices much less arrive home. But decorating at night is asking for trouble, so make time to decorate during the daytime. Decorating during the day makes it easier to see potentially problematic power lines, and the weather likely won't be as harsh during the daytime as it will be at night, reducing your risk for injury.

* Never decorate alone. When decorating, always have someone nearby in case of emergency. Falling from a ladder can cause serious harm, but having someone there to hold the ladder can reduce your risk of falling. In addition, a decorating partner can contact emergency personnel should you suffer an injury and become unable to reach the telephone.

* Trim trees before decorating. Winter might not be the ideal time to trim trees, but streaming lights on overgrown trees could pose a significant safety risk. A tree that hasn't been trimmed might have grown close to power lines. When that tree is covered in holiday lights, contact with the power line could electrify the tree, potentially causing property damage or personal injury to anyone within close proximity to the affected tree. If you're worried about trimming a tree outside of its recommended trimming season, do not decorate that tree with any lights.

* Strategically place lights. Lights should never conceal a window, and the cords should never be run across walkways or steps. Lights that are strewn across a window pose a safety hazard should a fire occur at the home and window escape is needed. Cords that have been run across walkways and steps pose a tripping hazard, especially if a light snowfall makes it difficult for family members or guests to see the cords on the ground.

* Make sure the lights are not on when no one is home. Lights should never be on when no one is home. This poses a significant safety risk, and no homeowner wants to arrive home to see their house has burned down or suffered damage from a fire. In addition, turn the lights off before you go to sleep at night. This makes the home safer at night and will save you a substantial amount of money.

SurfKY News

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6213

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 17, 2015 5834

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 14, 2015 5037

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 4220

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 16, 2015 3398

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

April 02, 2015 8473

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 6694

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Now

April 17, 2015 5834

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 18, 2015 4220

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 18, 2015 988

MPD Offers Advice On Prom, Underage Drinking

by Lt. Billy Poe
April 18, 2015 752

Market Commentary - April 18, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin
April 18, 2015 483

Home, Garden Show Concludes Today at Ballard…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 451

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 433

Keeping the Faith - 'God Smiles'

by Ronnie McBrayer
April 18, 2015 416

TVA's Regional Energy Resource Council to Meet in…

by Tennessee Valley Authority
April 18, 2015 401

Hooked on Science - Skewer a Balloon

by Jason Lindsey
April 18, 2015 374

WKCTC Offers Minecraft Class to Teach Students…

by Tammy Thompson