By now you’ve probably hung the lights, put up and decorated the tree and have the whole house feeling festive. But is it electrically safe?

To make sure, here’s a quick checklist to run through to ensure that you and your family stay safe through the holiday season.

Holiday Electrical Checklist:

  • Are they being used properly? Check whether your lights and décor are intended for indoor or outdoor use and use them only as directed.
  • Are you over? Never exceed the recommended wattage on any packaging.
  • Are they damaged? As much as you might LOVE that decoration from your great-aunt or those string lights you got when you first moved into the house, if any of your cords, plugs or ornaments are damaged, replace them immediately.
  • Are they grounded? Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters when plugging in any outdoor lighting or decorations.
  • Are they certified? Buy decorations and lights with the mark of an accredited certification agency (even if those ones from the dollar store are cheaper).
  • Are they overloaded? Avoid overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords. This can create overheating and result in a fire. If you have a fuse that frequently blows or circuits that trip often, this may mean you have connected too many items to that circuit.
  • Are there more than three? Usually, you can safely connect no more than three light strings. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for directions and proper usage.
  • Are they touching? Make sure bulbs don’t touch supply cords, wires, cloth, paper or any material that is not part of the light string.
  • Are they off? Ensure to turn off your lights and decorations when you aren’t using them and when you aren’t home (especially those on your tree).


Happy holidays! May it be a safe and extra cheery and bright one!

*Thanks to Electrical Safety Authority for these tips. Find these and more: (