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With the holidays upon us, now is a good time to consider these safety tips to make sure time spent with friends and loved ones is merry and bright.

  1. Carefully inspect all your holiday items to ensure everything is in safe, working order.
  2. Buy lights with low-wattage bulbs that are UL safety approved. LED lights last longer, run cooler and are energy efficient.
  3. Check lights before use - place them on a non-flammable surface and plug them in for 15 minutes to ensure they don't smoke or melt.
  4. Check lights for broken bulbs, cracked sockets or loose connections and check wires for frayed or cut insulation.
  5. Do not overload circuits, outlets and extension cords.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines on how many strings of lights can be safety connected together.
  7. When stringing outdoor lights, use a dry wooden or fiberglass ladder and stay clear of overhead power lines.
  8. Use insulated clip hangers rather than tacks or staples to hang lights.
  9. Do not sure indoor lights outdoors - they are not waterproof.
  10. Do not use outdoor lights indoors - they burn hotter than indoor lights.
  11. Artificial trees should be flame resistant.
  12. Keep trees fresh by watering daily to avoid the risk of fire.
  13. Unplug lights when changing a bulb and do not connect lights while adjusting them on the tree.
  14. Turn off, unplug and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the home or office.
  15. Never use extension cords as a permanent or long-term solution. Do not run extension cords under rugs or carpet.