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Safety tips for your holiday lights - KOAM TV 7

Safety tips for your holiday lights

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As the holidays draw nearer, more and more of us are out hanging up the lights but the displays bring some hazards.

According to fire crews extension cords and faulty wiring are the two top causes for holiday light fires.

Those are followed by candles and flammable items near fires or electrical wiring.  They say it's important to not add too many strands of lights to a single cord.  They add that LED lights are safer because they use less wattage than the old incandescent ones.

"The new lights we have today are not nearly as susceptible to catching fire as the older ones were because they do not draw near the amount of electricity that the old ones did and I would guess the biggest problem is do not hook too many light strands into one socket," says Carl Junction Fire Chief Bill Dunn.

Home Depot master electrical specialist Clinton Vance says he knows all too well the dangers the lights can cause.

"I've seen the aftermaths and Christmas is a bad time to have a hazard like a fire and anytime of year absolutely but it's even harder at Christmas," says Vance, who has also been a volunteer for the Seneca Area Fire Protection District for the last 24 years.  "People are concerned with their lights not working and they may find a bulb that's out, but they may miss a small place like this that could cause a fire."

Eldon Howery works for Lowe's and also has a bit of advice for safely putting out lights this year.

First, make sure if you have live trees you keep them well watered.  Also, Howery says, remember - "the bigger the bulb, the more heat."

Although the mini incandescent lights can be cheaper the LED lights save you on electricity and safety.

"The lights are changing, they are all going to LED lights which is a much safer light," says Howery.  "They last a lot longer - over a period of years - they're safer, they don't carry any heat like the other bulbs do."

Again, the LED lights are more efficient and more safe, but you may have to pay a little more for them.

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