Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only UL-approved lighting.
Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
If using an extension cord, connect strings of lights to the extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
Use the right lights in the right place - some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.
Use only nonflammable decorations. All decorations should be nonflammable or flame resistant/flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace. Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire. Don't block exits, ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk. Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
Avoid using lit candles. If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning. Never put lit candles on a tree. Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame - candles, lighters or matches.