Christmas lights pose fire hazards - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Christmas lights pose fire hazards

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Extension cord that is taped together. Beaston says to not use these. Extension cord that is taped together. Beaston says to not use these.

Many people have already put up Christmas lights and holiday decorations, but a local electrician said it wouldn't hurt to take a second look at those.

Bryce Beaston with Macs Electrical Contractors said home fires during the holiday season are avoidable as long as you don't make a couple of mistakes.

One of those errors is overloading a circuit by stringing too many lights together.

He also said to make sure you are using the properly rated extension cord.

"You can buy a five dollar cord but that's what you're going to get, five dollars worth of electricity which isn't good," explained Beaston. "Spend a little extra money and get yourself a nice decent thick cord. Not your standard 18 or 20 gauge or 16 gauge cord. Get yourself a 14 or 12 gauge heavy duty cord."

Beaston said to avoid plugging too many cords into one outlet because that creates heat which can cause a fire to break out.

Local firefighters are also asking you to double check your cords for things like the exposed wires and fraying.

Jerry Smith with the Quincy Fire department said to make sure you're using the right type of lights for where you're decorating.

He claimed there's a big difference between indoor and out door lights.

"With indoor lights outside, some of them don't have the protective coating on them where snow or rain could get into it and cause a short then cause a fire from there," explained Smith.

Smith added to not plug more than three strands of lights in a row which should avoid overloading a circuit.

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