Beautiful, glittering Christmas lights make the whole neighborhood look festive and happy. Lighting up your home for the holidays is fun, but it's important to make sure you do so safely. Stick to these Christmas light safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for all.

Extension Cord Safety

Extension cords are often used to allow lights to reach all areas of the home and yard. It's important to be careful and cautious in their use, however, to avoid fires and a tripping hazard.

Make sure you use appropriate extension cords for outdoor use. Indoor cords are not designed to withstand the elements and can become damaged, creating a danger. Be sure that you don't attach too many cords together either, as each attachment point is a potential danger. Buy the right length extension cord rather than connecting multiple cords.

Place extension cords carefully so that no one trips on them when approaching your home. Tape them down and keep them out of walkways and driveways.

Watch For Wear

Check your light strands and cords for any signs of wear each year and discard any that show any fraying or other damage. A damaged cord or wire is a serious fire hazard as well as an electrocution hazard. Look for broken bulbs as well.

Be sure everything is in good working order before you set it up for the holiday season to keep your home safe.

Caution With Kids And Pets

Using Christmas lights around kids and pets requires a little extra caution. Be sure to keep wires and plugs hidden from babies who might be curious. Keep a close eye on babies and young children when they are exploring their colorful new lighted world.

If you have a pet who might chew on wires, cover the wires or keep them off the ground as much as possible. In some cases, it might be best to keep the lights outdoors and away from young children and animals.

Talk to older children about electrical safety and make sure they don't try to unplug or plug in the lights on their own. Using a power strip with an on/off switch is a good way to allow kids to be able to turn the lights on and off without the danger of touching an outlet.

You can enjoy your Christmas lights safely with a little caution and pre-planning, and so can your entire family and neighbors, too. Simply make sure everything works and is set up safely for a happy holiday filled with bright lights and cheer.