The Dangers of Indoor and Outdoor Holiday Lights

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Educational Services & Consulting
Central Florida insurance designation agency discusses fire prevention.

CLERMONT, Fla. - eTradeWire -- Educational Services and Consulting (ESC), a leading provider of education and training services for the insurance industry, reminds homeowners about the potential fire dangers of holiday lights.

As ESC outlines in a recent blog, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost two in five home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems. Christmas lights are the primary cause of these fires 44 percent of the time (source).

"I love holiday lights and we never want anyone's holiday season to be ruined by a home or business fire caused by faulty lights," ESC Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer, Natalie Zimmerman, said. "There are several things you can do to prevent holiday lights from causing a fire in your home or business."

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The most common factors that increase the risk of property damage or injury from holiday lights are:

1. Forgetting to inspect the lights before putting them up: Check for frayed wires, exposed bulbs, or broken sockets. Using damaged lights significantly increases the risk of electrical malfunctions, potentially leading to a fire.

2. Using the wrong lights: Not all holiday lights are created equal, and it's essential to choose the right type for your specific decoration needs. Outdoor lights should be labeled as suitable for exterior use, as they are designed to withstand the elements.  Some lights are specifically designed for trees, while others are more suitable for decorating the house or other outdoor spaces.

3. Overloading your electrical system: Be mindful of the electrical load when decorating and avoid connecting too many light strands to a single outlet. Check the manufacturer's guidelines for the maximum number of lights that can be safely connected.  Consider using extension cords or power strips with built-in overload protection.

"In addition to the top three listed above, we also suggest regularly checking for overheating or malfunctioning lights and keeping your lights away from flammable objects at all times," Zimmerman, said. "Keep all lights away from flammable materials, including fireplaces, curtains, drapes, bedding, or any other combustible decorations reduces the risk of accidental ignition."

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You can also prevent accidental fires by storing your lights correctly once you take them down for the year.

"Avoid crumpling or bending wires, as this can lead to breaks and exposed wiring," Zimmerman said. "Use dedicated storage containers or reels designed for lights to prevent tangling."

For those interested in helping individuals recover from holiday light related incidents and providing guidance to policyholders seeking to rebuild, consider earning your 6-20 ACA designation with Educational Services & Consulting (ESC).

For more information, contact Educational Services & Consulting's Clermont, Florida office at 1-800-309-2549 or visit online to learn about their accredited claims adjuster designation process.

Natalie Zimmerman

Source: Educational Services & Consulting
Filed Under: Consumer, Insurance

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