Lights, Camera, Holiday!

Are you entertaining this holiday season? Make it fun and make it safe.

Lots of lights, food and fun awaits us! Unfortunately, this season also brings safety hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association study, fire departments respond to over 230 home fires started from Christmas trees. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the peak days for kitchen fires.

It is important to be aware of common safety measures as we head into the new year. Simple actions include unplugging your tree lights or keeping an eye on your stove when cooking, especially since cooking for a crowd often involves lots of electrical devices.

Lighting Safety Tips

Holiday lighting can overdraw power, creating a fire hazard, especially for older lights.

  • Inspect your lights before hanging them. If they look worn (frayed wires, loose or cracked bulbs), recycle them.
  • Do not string more than three strands of lights together indoors or outdoors.
  • Do not connect them to a single electric outlet, which can cause overheating.

Some bulbs may crack but stay lit, exposing the heated wire.

  • Switch to LEDS, which are more energy-efficient and burn cooler.
  • Make sure your outdoor lights are labeled for outdoor use.
  • Unplug your lights and decorations inside and outside when you are asleep or not home.
  • Check your smoke detectors once a month.

How do I Recycle my Holiday Lights?

Check with your local hardware stores to see if they have holiday light recycling programs. They often do. King County also has a website listing neighborhood options here!

Additional options include:

Holiday LEDs will take your old lights for free — and give you a coupon for 15% off your next order of energy-efficient LED holiday lights from its vast selection. You can return them by mail and you will need to check their requirements such as, do not send the lights with cardboard packaging, plastic light holders and other debris. The cost is free, other than shipping costs.

Christmas Light Source is also a free resource and they give you a coupon for 10% off purchases on their website. Mail your unwanted lights to the address listed on their site.


  1. Riley Ellis on November 14, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for these coupons!! The tips are super helpful also, I’d never considered some of these things to be hazards before

  2. Alexandra Moua on November 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for focusing on holiday lights and the dangers of them. I often times feel that these dangers are overlooked. How often do you recommend purchasing new lights?

    • Margaret Burch on November 22, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Great question! I have thought of this question myself over the past few years. I believe that the incandescent bulbs can be kept for 4-6 years and LED lights for 7-10 years. I hope this helps!

  3. Mabel Smith on November 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Lighting during the Christmas season can be so difficult because of all of the hazards that come with overloading lights and sockets, but these tips make me feel a little bit better about how I’m going to decorate the house this year! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Daniella Gordon on November 19, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you!! I feel like the tip about plugging too much into one outlet is often forgotten. So important!

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