Experts share holiday lighting safety and saving tips

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - After Thanksgiving, folks may look to put up the Christmas tree and light their holiday candles. Georgia Power wants to ensure your and your family’s safety this holiday season by providing tips for safely lighting your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are nearly one in five Christmas tree fires started by decorative lights, and eight percent of tree fires started by candles.

The National Fire Protection Association says that Christmas trees, holiday decorations, cooking and baking all contribute to an annual increase in U.S. home fires during winter. Newsleader 9 spoke with a fire marshal. He says essential to note that you shouldn’t leave your outdoor Christmas lights on all night.

Fire Marshal Shull says Christmas lights are one of the main factors of fires during the holiday season. Therefore, finding the correct extension cord, the proper amount of lights to display and handling your electrical usage are vitally important.

“You wanna make sure that the bulbs are connected, you wanna make sure that your line your cord is not frayed, so examine your lights every year. You got to remember you’ve stored them you’ve had them up in the attic perhaps the whole year and then consider how long that you think you have your lights,” says Fire Marshal Shull

Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft says before using your holiday lights, check your outlets. Look for outlets with loose-fitting plugs, exposed wires or broken plates and have them fixed by a qualified electrician. Kraft says switching the kind of lights you use can help you save on your power bill.

“Well, with LED lights, for instance that have come up come about to become very popular in the past few years, you can save more than 50% on the the amount of energy used by using those LED lights, plus they can last up to 10 times longer than the old-style incandescent bulbs,” says Kraft.

Kraft says using timers and smart switches for your holiday lights can also save you dollars on your power bill. When it comes to lighting up real Christmas trees

“Yeah, so if you’re going to use a real tree this year, make sure that your tree is hydrated. I get rid of that tree after Christmas. Don’t let it linger around your house too long. Make sure that your tree is 3 feet away from any heat source in your house,” says Fire Marshal Shull.

Georgia Power is celebrating community service and holiday cheer again this year with its annual Light Up the Holidays contest.

This year, the company wants to see how Georgia lights up the holidays, either through a holiday display or acts of community service.

For more information, click here.