Keep the Holiday Festive

AAA Mid States

One of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season is decorating your house, both outside and inside. Use the following guidelines to stay safe and make sure that this season’s decorating time is festive and fun, and not dangerous.

Outside Decorating

  • Ladder Safety: Hanging lights on the perimeter of your house and roof will more than likely require a ladder. Make sure you partner up and have someone hold the bottom of the ladder as you stretch to make sure your house is the best on the block.
  • Check Your Lights: Since you typically use these lights just once a year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you inspect each strand before you put them back into rotation. If there are any frayed wires, throw the lights away. It is also a good practice to careful replace any broken bulbs, but make sure that you unplug the strand beforehand.
  • Plastic Clips: When hanging lights outside your home, always use plastic clips and steer clear of any nails or metal clips that could damage the wires.


Inside Decorating

  • Don’t Overload Extension Cords: The CPSC recommends that you plug in no more than three strands of lights into one extension cord. For extra safety, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and extension cord.
  • Turn Off Lights At Bedtime: Don’t forget to turn off all your Christmas lights, both inside and outside, before you head to bed. This will save money on your energy bill as well as prevent an electrical fire.
  • Christmas Tree Safety: Whether you are a traditionalist with a real tree or have transitioned to a modern artificial tree, location is key. Make sure that your tree is not too close to heating ducts or fireplaces. Also, make sure that your real tree has plenty of water. 


Even the most cautious decorators can experience a stroke of bad holiday luck. If you have questions about your homeowners or renters insurance, contact your AAA Insurance Agent at 1-800-222-1469, visit, or stop by your local AAA office.