1st. Check each set of holiday lights for damaged sockets, plugs and cords. Replace anything that looks defective.
2nd. If you plan to string lights outside, only use lights that are marked for outdoor use.
3rd. Do not plug in more than three sets of lights to one extension cord and never run cords under rugs or carpeting.
4th. If you need a ladder to decorate outside, be aware of nearby power lines and stay away from them.
5th. If you purchased a live tree, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Heated rooms can dry out live trees very quickly and pose a fire hazard.
6th. Keep all decorations at least three feet away from heating sources, including space heaters and fireplaces.
7th. Consider purchasing LED lights which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
8th. Always unplug lights before changing bulbs, replacing fuses, or making any other repairs.
9th. Make sure spotlights used to illuminate decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather and a safe distance from flammable items.
10th. Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.
11th. Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
12th. Use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles whenever possible to avoid a fire hazard.