LED lights less likely to cause Christmas tree fires

Published: Dec. 3, 2015 at 11:22 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2015 at 8:33 PM CST
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AMARILLO, TX - LED lights are the safest choice when it comes to decorating your home for Christmas.

They emit almost no heat and use about 4% of the energy traditional lights use.

With less heat, these bulbs are less likely to set a dried up Christmas tree on fire.

The traditional C-9 bulbs, like the ones you see on houses, are the most dangerous for a tree since they emit so much heat.

"When the lights were only outside it wasn't a big deal," said Warren Reid, owner of Coulter Gardens. "Bringing those lights in and putting them on a cut tree that's getting a little dry - that's where the danger would always come in."

As LED lights started to gain popularity, the danger of a tree burning from light bulbs has drastically decreased.

But it's not just the type of bulb. The amount of strings you put on your could put it in danger once it starts to dry out.

Even using the safest lights doesn't change the fact that there's electricity running around the tree.

The US Fire Administration estimates one in every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.

"The biggest thing is plugging in," said Reid. "Each type of light says the maximum number you can plug end to end. The mistake is the old Christmas story: plugging three million lights in and expecting to plug it in to one plug."

Reid said light instructions always include the maximum number of chords you can string together.

The more lights strung together, the higher the chance of melting chords that can start fires.

"It's your main plug-in we have to worry about," said Reid. "Make sure the plug is always where it can't stand in water. So it's the beginnings and the ends that you need to really be careful about."

Artificial trees are not affected by the heat from Christmas lights.

If you have a real Christmas tree, take these precautions, and make sure it gets plenty of water, to prevent any tree related electrical fire.

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