Christmas lights are a holiday tradition for many Americans, but they can be hazardous if not used and maintained properly. Taking simple steps can reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries associated with Christmas lights.
When shopping for Christmas lights, look for labels indicating that the lights have been tested by an independent testing laboratory such as UL or ETL/ITSNA.
Inspect light strands for signs of poor condition such as broken or frayed wires and broken sockets. Discard damaged sets rather than trying to repair them. Broken lights can cause fires or electrocution.
The Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC) warns against using "bubble lights" around children because they could accidentally break the bulbs open and release the toxic liquid inside, or sustain cuts from the broken glass.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends connecting no more than three light strands together unless directions specifically state that it is safe to add more.