house exterior with many bright christmas lights
Photo: Chad Ehlers/Alamy
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Lighting Disasters

Outdoing our neighbors with Clark Griswold–like holiday lighting displays is as American as greasy fast food and suburban sprawl. Just try not to make house fires a part of your annual holiday tradition. Avoid Christmastime conflagrations with simple measures, such as using indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside, checking for cracked or broken sockets and frayed wires, and limiting yourself to three strands of lights per extension cord. During the two months surrounding the holiday season, more than 14,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday decorating each year.

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