How to prevent Christmas light fires

The holidays are here again but if you're decorating your home with Christmas lights, there's some important information that experts want you to know.

Whether you're decorating your home or putting up a Christmas tree or setting up an elaborate outdoor display, you wanna make sure you do it safely.

According to figures from Home Depot, 150 house fires started each year by holiday lighting across the United States.

Those figures don't sound like a lot but there have been deaths.

Joseph Horton with the Home Depot in Harlingen told Action 4 News and it's something that's easily preventable.

Most of the time, people when they do the lighting, they get real quick about it and they don't lay everything out, Horton said. Ya wanna make sure ya have a good game plan. Lay all your lights out.

Customers are already streaming into the Harlingen store for Christmas supplies.

Horton the general rule for both outdoor and indoor lights is three strands of lights per circuit.

That number can go higher if you're using energy-efficient LED lights but there's one piece of equipment that's the most important.

Any extension chords being used, you wanna make sure ya have an indoor/outdoor extension chord, Horton said. If not, the sun, water can damage that chord and that would be a fire or shock hazard."

Horton said it's best to use power strips that have an automatic circuit breaker and reset switch.

If you're doing outdoor lighting, he said it TMs recommended to install a weatherproof outlet.

A groove at the bottom allows chords to go out while keeping the plug safe and dry.