How to Hang Holiday Lights Safely

man hangs holiday lights  at home

One of the best parts of owning your own home during the holidays is the chance to hang a dazzling array of sparkling lights.

Do it right, and you’ll impress your neighbors, delight your family, and keep spirits bright all season long!

Do it wrong, and you could face groans, mockery, or even find yourself featured on

Worse yet, a poor installation job could start a fire, litter the lawn with glass shards, short your electrical system, or even result in a serious shock.

This list of safety tips will land you safely in the first category.

  • Examine your lights before you start putting them up, and watch for broken bulbs
  • Use outdoor lights outside and indoor lights inside
  • While you’re at it, make sure you have the appropriate extension cords for indoor vs. outdoor use
  • If you’re using a real tree inside, make sure it was cut fresh and has enough water. Dry pine needles plus holiday lights can cause fires!
  • Avoid connecting strings of LED lights and strings of incandescent lights together
  • Stick to only three strands of light for every power receptacle (especially if you choose incandescent bulbs)
  • Keep cord junctions out of puddles
  • Keep lights off the ground using light stakes
  • Prevent tripping hazards using anchoring pins or ground staples
  • Don’t put cords through doors and windows
  • If hanging lights outdoors, use a fiberglass or wood ladder (remember, metal conducts electricity)
  • If there’s snow or ice on the ground, it’s not safe to be on the roof
  • Finally, keep someone with you during the installation process—it’s hard to call 9-1-1 if you’ve just received a shock or taken a bad fall

Happy holidays, and stay safe out there! 

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