Inspecting Holiday Decorations Creates A Safe Season - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Inspecting Holiday Decorations Creates A Safe Season

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Holiday decorations light up the season, but they can also be deadly. The number of children killed or injured by fires more than doubles during the holiday months. News 8 talks to a safety expert about decoration danger.

Your lights have been stuffed away in a box for the past year, so the assumption is that they will work again just like they did last year, but if you're not careful you could be hanging a holiday fire hazard right on your house.

Holiday shoppers are loading up on light emitting diodes, or LEDs. Home Depot safety specialist Chris Robinson is urging all shoppers to make the switch away from the more traditional incandescent lights that burn hot to LEDs.

"LEDs are very safe," she said.

Although they cost up to 30 percent more, Robinson says LEDs are longer lasting and energy efficient.

"They are going to cost so much less in electricity that it will pay for itself within the first few weeks," Robinson said.

According to SDG&E, a strand of incandescent lights burning for 6 hours will cost you $4.73, but that same LED strand burning for the same amount of time will cost you four cents.

Robinson says along with saving money, inspecting your lights every year saves lives.

"Bare wire can cause a spark. It can cause a fire," she said.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, holiday decorations will spark 2,000 fires in America this season, sending on average 5,000 people to the emergency room.

Instead, Robinson uses LED candles for that same holiday glow. She also recommends taping your exterior electrical connections together.

"It keeps the moisture out," she said.

And make sure your lights have been inspected by a third-party such as Underwriter Laboratories to make sure they're not counterfeit.

"They have to have that UL rating to be safe," Robinson said.

As dangerous as holiday fires are, many more people get hurt falling down while installing their lights, so make sure you have a sturdy ladder.

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