Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Christmas is coming up fast, and that means a lot of people will be decorating trees and their homes with lights.
But there are a few things you need to know in order to stay safe this holiday season.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it could also be the most dangerous. Firefighters say during the holidays, nearly three quarters of the calls they get are because of problems with Christmas lights. So they say it’s important to be safe while lighting up your neighborhood.
It’s that time of year, and lots of people are spreading joy with some spectacular Christmas light displays.
But firefighters want to make sure you’re being proactive when it comes to preventing fire hazards with your lights.
“You have to be careful and not overload any outlets or circuits that you have in your home,” said Chief Danny Kuhlmann, Columbia County Fire Department.
Chief Danny Kuhlmann says any lighting you have should have a ‘UL’ or ‘FM’ label on the back to let you know that the brand has been safely tested. Even electricians are putting in overtime to put in additional outlets.
“We call it the electrical octopus is when you’ve got, fifteen cords plugged into one outlet you’re putting stress on your electrical system which could break it down and cause a fire,” said Chief Danny Kuhlmann, Columbia County Fire Department.
“We’re actually putting more power out in peoples yards so they can have the less tripping of drop cords and overloading or drop cords,” said John Hales, Owner of Mr. Electric.
Both fire fighters and electricians agree that you should test every light bulb to make sure they are tightly screwed and are working. Having more than one outlet dedicated to your holiday lights is recommended, and experts say the new LED lights are also a safer option.
“A lot of LED lights don’t pull a lot of power but if you’re like me, Clark Grizwald we put a lot of Christmas lights up at our house and a lot of these folks are starting to get into the holiday spirit and they like to put more normal so what we try to do is come out and do a free assessment of the certain circuitry that they have right now,” said John Hales, Owner of Mr. Electric.
Experts also say if to make sure your live tree is getting plenty of water, so it doesn’t dry out and become an additional fire hazard.