Holiday Lights & Decorations
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive wear before putting them up.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Limit use of extension cords to temporary uses. They should not serve as a permanent power source for any appliance or stationary device.
- Never run extension cords under rugs or furniture.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect, usually no more than three.
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Never dispose of wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can result in a very large fire, throwing off sparks and embers and may result in a chimney fire.
Preventing Christmas Tree Fires
- Place Christmas trees away from fireplaces, heaters and other heat sources.
- Select a fresh tree. Needles should be green and should not break off easily. The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
- Keep your tree in water through the entire season so it doesn’t dry out; check water levels often.
- If you are using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
- Replace broken or worn light strands. Follow manufacturer instructions on the number of light strands to connect. Almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Do not leave a live tree up for more than 2 weeks. When needles start to drop off, it’s time to move the tree outdoors. There are dozens of drop-off tree sites as part of the local Christmas Tree Recycling Program from Dec. 26-Jan.15. Locations include Clark County’s Sunset and Mountain Crest parks. Many other sites are listed on the Las Vegas Spring Preserve website: https://www.springspreserve.org/education-conservation/christmas-tree-recycling-sites.html