There’s nothing like the twinkling of Christmas lights, or walking through the snow on a wintry evening and seeing those Christmas trees all aglow in people’s homes.

With the Christmas season in full effect, families are busy decorating their homes to make them festive and bright. All those lights mean more electricity, and an increase in hazards if you’re not careful… so here are a few tips to help keep your holiday season colorful and safe.

Tip #1. Make sure you keep your indoor lights and extension cords indoors! Use only proper outdoor cords and lights for your decorating outdoor. Look for high-quality stuff rated for extreme conditions. Outdoor supplies are designed to handle the weather and harsher conditions whereas your indoor specific lights are not.

Tip #2. Take a good look at the electrical decorations and supplies you plan on using. Hanging them up and taking them down each year plus time spent bunched up in storage as well as time passing will affect the condition of your lights. Look for any frayed wires, broken or punctured casings, loose connections, broken bulbs and more. Don’t use damaged lights and cords. Test and inspect anything before putting it up.

Tip #3. When you’re hanging your lights, make sure that they are not resting on anything that is easily flammable such as other decorations made of paper or your curtains. As well, hooks are better to use than anything sharp that can puncture wires like staples or nails. Any puncture can be a potential hazard.

Tip #4. Be careful not to overload your plugs and circuits by stringing too many lights together or by using multiple adapters or power bars on the same circuit. Be aware of how much your circuits can handle and how much power you are putting through them. If you are unsure, consult a professional.

Tip #5. If you cut down a tree (rather than using an artificial one), make sure you take care of it by checking to see that it has enough water (trees need more water earlier after being cut than they will later on) and ensure that the tree is not close to any heat sources.

Tip #6. Don’t overload your tree with lights. As pretty as it is, more lights will lead to more heat which can be dangerous. Also, don’t let your kids or your cats (or other curious creatures) play with your lights or your tree.

Tip #7. If you haven’t yet, switch over to LED lights to help keep your costs and power consumption down as well as to reduce power overloads and overheating lights.

Tip #8. When the season draws to a close, make sure you take down your outdoor Christmas lights and extension cords. They aren’t designed to be outside all year long. This will help to prolong the life of your lights and will protect your property from potential damages.