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Christmas Vacation Lessons Learned: Holiday Light Safety

One of the most famous portions of Christmas Vacation is when Clark Griswald “Over decorates” his home with the proud announcement that he has strung “250 strings of lights totaling 25,000 bulbs.” Prior to getting the lights up, we see him trying to get the lights untangled and up on the house.

While not a laughing matter in real life, Clark’s fall from the ladder was a hilarious bit within the movie. Ladder falls rise considerably during Christmas due to lights going up. According to The Electrical Safety Foundation, about 5,800 individuals are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained from falls involving holiday decorations.

Studies indicate that more than 86% of Americans decorate their homes as part of their winter holiday celebrations. Almost two-thirds of respondents use electric lights in their indoor decorating scheme, while more than half use lighted decorations outside their homes. More than 60% of those who decorate their homes for the holiday utilize at least one extension cord.[1] While I love to see Christmas light, it is important to remember they can significantly increase the risk fires and electrical injuries if not used safely.

While Christmas Vacation is a hilarious movie, given the potential hazards associated with something as simple as putting up Christmas lights, it is crucial that safety is a foremost concern.


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