Nothing signals the holiday season more than twinkling lights strung on outdoor trees and rooflines, a tree decorated with care, and stockings hung above the fireplace. But these lovely traditions can be dangerous.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 25 percent of all holiday fires are caused by holiday decorations. It’s worth noting that fires involving decorated trees are also more deadly than other fires. Getting shocked or even electrocuted is another risk.


1. Inspect all electrical lights and decorations for damage and wear-and-tear before using them. If needed, replace them.

2. Don’t overload outlets or extension cords. Connecting more than three strings of incandescent lights together could be risky. If it takes extension cords or adapters to achieve the look you want, consider having Burtner Electric install more outlets in your home.

3. Keep all decorations at least three feet from fireplaces or open flames.

4. Be sure to keep natural trees well watered. A dry tree and electrical lights are a dangerous combination.

5. Use electrical decorations and extension cords where they are intended. Don’t use those marked “indoors only” outdoors and vice versa. And never cover extension cords with a rug.

6. Protect the connections on your decorations from getting wet. Make sure your outdoor outlet has an in-use (bubble) cover, so the outlet remains protected from water. Call Burtner Electric to install to install more electrical outlets or in-use covers for your holiday decorations!

“The holidays are a joyous time,” says Jodi Burtner of Burtner Electric. “Don’t let a preventable fire spoil your celebrations.”

Contact Burtner Electric at (317) 773-7663 or visit the company online at to install more electrical outlets or in-use covers for your holiday decorations. Then, enjoy the holidays!