Christmas Light Safety FAQs
Do Christmas lights cause fires?
Yes, unfortunately Christmas lights can cause fires and lead to fatalities at a higher rate than other fires. That is why it is important to follow instructions that come on your Christmas lights and avoid overloading your electrical circuits. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 40% of Christmas tree fires were caused by Christmas lights, and Christmas lights cause additional fires in other areas in and around the home. Between 2011 and 2015, one out of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires caused a fatality, compared to an average of one death per 143 reported home fires.
Are Christmas lights safe?
Christmas lights are safe if the electrical wiring and electrical panel in your home are working properly, lights are used according to instructions, electrical circuits are not overloaded, and you follow holiday light safety best practices. It is important to keep your Christmas tree well watered to slow the progression of a fire in the case that your Christmas tree catches on fire.
Is it safe to use outdoor Christmas lights indoors?
Yes, it is safe to use outdoor Christmas lights indoors, as long as the voltage required is safe for your electrical circuits. However, you should never use indoor Christmas lights outside your home. They are not designed for exposure to moisture and could start a fire outside the home.
Are outdoor Christmas lights safe in the rain?
Outdoor Christmas lights that are rated water resistant or waterproof are safe in light rain. If there is water pooled on the ground and your lights are touching it, this is a hazard regardless of the type of lights. Always protect the electrical outlets from rain, and do not touch cords of Christmas lights that are submerged in water.
Is it safe to leave string lights on all night?
You should avoid leaving string lights on all night, as they are not designed for continuous use. Overheating of Christmas lights can be a fire hazard.
Why do my outdoor Christmas lights keep going out?
If your outdoor Christmas lights are continually going out, it could mean that your electrical circuit is overloaded. Call a licensed electrical to help you troubleshoot the source of the problem and correct it, since it could be a safety issue that could cause a fire or electrical emergency. If only some of the lights go it, you likely have a missing or broken bulb on your string of lights.