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Christmas lights are a big part of the most wonderful time of the year, but they also pose increase fire and electrical risks. To prevent your festive cheer turning into festive tears, take a moment to read our decorating safety tips:

• Do not overload power circuits or plugs, and remember to only use 3-wire ground extension cords for outside.

• Only use lights that are specially labelled as outdoor lights when decorating outdoors. Indoor-only lights aren’t capable of withstanding snow and cold temperatures, and can result in blown fuses, shocks or even fire.

• Inspect all lights before you put them up for signs of damage to the wire insulation, bulbs, and plugs.

• Always turn your lights off while you’re away or sleeping. Consider using an outdoor lighting timer to automate this task for you.

• Before you replace a burnt out bulb on a string of lights, make sure your replacement bulb has the same wattage rating. A bulb with a higher rating could overheat, creating a fire risk.

• To reduce your risk of shock while hanging lights, use a ladder made of a non-conductive material, like wood.

• Use LEDs. Because LEDs burn cooler, you won’t run the risk of overheating and catching fire.

Keep these tips in mind to prevent Christmas from being dimmed by your lights. For more information on how to protect your home for the holiday season, contact one of our expert advisers today.