Posted: Dec 4, 2012 8:47 AM by Chris Welty
Updated: Dec 4, 2012 8:48 AM
'Tis the season. Are you decking the halls and lighting your yard? Depending on how bright your display is and how you wire it, your yard could become a fire hazard.
Nationwide every year almost 150 homes go up in flames and about 8 people die.
The brightness of the bulb, the colors, and sometimes the sound of someone's Christmas display can captivate us, reminding us of our favorite holiday memories.
Sometimes those displays go all out but it's important to make sure everything is wired safely.
"A lot of times, people don't realize they overload the circuits with smaller extension cords."
Steven Arceneaux with The Home Depot says when plugging multiple strands of lights together, use extension cords that can handle the amperage and read the box instructions. Indoor cords are thinner, so use outdoor cords for exterior lighting.
"The lights or the extension cords get real hot and it can produce too much heat or even a fire," said Arceneaux.
A cord called a ground circuit fault interrupter acts like a surge protector in your yard.
"If it's in water or they have a short, this will automatically shutdown and it will not shock you."
Arceneaux recommends switching your incandescent Christmas lights to low energy LED's because the led bulbs use less heat and you can string together more cords safely.
"If people would understand the simplicity of it, I believe it would help save lives."
Fire officials recommend using a timer to make sure your lights do not stay on all night.
This year the popular Lafayette Lights dot com Christmas light competition will not take place. Organizers say they're updating the website with a GPS system to take you to other light displays while you're out viewing.
The christmas light competition will be back next year.