How to safely decorate your home with Christmas lights

Home for the Holidays

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Christmas displays bring joy to people, but putting the lights up can be dangerous.

“Christmas lights, they’re beautiful, and they’re great to look at and they’re very festive, but they can be dangerous, and they can cause house fires. They can cause people to become electrocuted. There is enough wattage going through these to stop a heart, so you really want to be careful,” said Joey Lee with Entergy Mississippi.

Using string lights to decorate is a Christmas tradition, but there are some things to look for when hanging them up outside your home.

Entergy encourages customers to use a nonconducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when hanging lights. You should also make sure the lights are unplugged when changing the bulbs. LED lights are highly recommended because they don’t give off as much heat and are more energy efficient. Lights should also be properly stored after the holidays.

“Really the best way is to keep them stored in a place that’s not going to get too hot. A lot of times people’s attics, especially here in Mississippi, get really hot and that can cause the wiring to deteriorate. So, you want to keep them in more of a climate-controlled environment,” said Lee.

He said using the wrong extension cords could also pose a risk.

“You just really want to use those three wire grounded extension cords, and we recommend that you plug them into a surge protector for even more protection.”

To avoid the risk of fires, check and replace frayed cords or bare wires. You should also make sure to turn off your Christmas lights when you go to sleep or leave home.

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