Holiday Safety Tips From Underwriters Laboratories

The campaign's website – – provides consumers with simple and practical ways to make their homes safe by ensuring their holiday lights, decorations and other electrical products have the UL Mark.

The campaign is kicking off during the holiday season because families and homes use more electricity during this time than other times of the year. To help keep your family and home safe, it is important that you are using the right equipment with the right certifications, and follow these safety tips:

  • Water, water, water your live tree: Dry trees pose a fire risk. Make a fresh cut on the base before putting your tree into a sturdy stand and water it frequently.
  • Check your lights, check them twice: Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
  • Plan your fire escape: Use the holidays as a good time to plan and practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Identify at least two exits from every room in the house, and have a safe meeting place away from your home.
  • Sleep safe by installing carbon monoxide alarms: Be sure that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed outside all sleeping areas in your home.
  • Limit plug-in toys to the big kids: It's not safe to give a small child a toy or product that needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet due to possible burns or electric shock.
  • Give wrapping paper a second life: Don't burn used wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires. And throwing it out adds waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
  • Know your lights and cords: Do not connect more than three miniature light strings together. Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords, and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.
  • Steer your tree clear: Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It should also not block any doorways or exits.
  • Decorate with a safe eye: Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.

    For more valuable safety information, please visit

    About UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

    Located in suburban Northbrook, Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products, writing standards for safety and involved in conformity assessment for more then 115 years.

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