Holiday Lights Safety Tips

Safety Reminders for Decorative Lights

  • Inspect light strings - Discard any damaged strings, frayed and cracked cords or broken sockets are leading fire hazards.
  •  Follow manufacturer’s instructions for connecting multiple strands - General rule is three strand limit.
  •  Don’t run cords under rugs, carpeting, or furniture – Traffic can cause damage to cords run under carpets and rugs and can also lead to cords overheating causing fire.
  •  Insert plugs completely into wall outlet – Partially inserted plugs can heat up causing fire as well as an electrocution risk.
  • Don’t attach light strings with nails or staples – These could cause damage to the wire insulation and create a fire hazard, use hangers that are designed and approved for use with light strings.
  •  Make sure that all cords and light strings are rated for their intended use – For indoor decorating use only indoor lights or indoor/outdoor rated lights. Outdoor only lights tend to be too hot for indoor use.
  •  Use only cords that are certified by a testing lab (i.e. Underwriters Laboratories, or UL)

Download Decorative Lights Safety (PDF) for more information.

Any questions contact EH&S- Fire & Life Safety at Or visit our website at