Home Holiday Safety 101

Discover the Smart Neighbor way to keep your home and family safe throughout the holiday season with energy-efficient LED lighting, automatic shut-off features for lights, heaters, and appliances, and Wi-Fi wireless security systems and smoke detectors to protect your loved ones and your happy home. 


Tired of getting tangled up with last year’s lights? It’s tough to tell which ones are designed to safely work on inside trees or outside greenery. Try this tip from Underwriters Laboratory (UL), a safety testing facility for electrical devices: Indoor lights have a green UL tag or a silver tag with UL listed in green.  Outdoor-approved lights have the letters UL printed in red on silver or red tags. Many new LED lights are approved for interior and exterior use, so check with the manufacturer before hanging. Automate your new lights with a budget-friendly Southwire Woods Wi-Fi outlet to turn your impressive display on and off each night whether you are home or away.

Keep live and freshly cut trees well-hydrated to reduce the risk of fire. One in every 4 Christmas tree fires is caused by a heat source too close to the tree, and one of every 3 Christmas tree fires is a result of electrical problems, according to the National Fire Protection Association. They show what happens when fire touches a dry tree at

Toss frayed cords, banish broken plugs, and store historic but hazardous decorations where they belong: in photographs, not in your home.


“Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or turning in for the night.”


Avoid the risk of decorations overheating by not overloading outlets, and explore countless light emitting diode (LED) options, which use less energy to look brighter, tend to stay cool, and can be connected end-to-end up to 25 times without overloading a standard wall socket. Indoor LED bulbs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting, and holiday lights are made to last for up to 40 seasons! Compare electricity costs at the U.S. Department of Energy and see how much you can save with LEDs when lighting a six-foot tree from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve.

Always be safe around power lines and stay at least 10 feet away from them when decorating outside. Find ladders made of fiberglass or wood – not electricity-conducting metal – if you must climb on the roof to hang decorations, and be sure the ladder extends 3 feet past the roof edge for a safer entry and exit.

Plug outdoor lights and yard inflatables into existing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) or install a portable GFCI outlet for the season. When a GFCI senses any imbalance in electrical current, it trips the circuit and shuts off immediately – protecting people and pets from potentially fatal electric shocks. If rain or snow causes excessive moisture to shut down the lights, just hit the reset button when the sun comes out again.


And so is your exterior home monitor system.  Try the Nest Outdoor Security Camera or the Sengled Snap Outdoor LED Floodlight with Camera to find out who’s being naughty or nice near your home. Position security system sensors in key areas, such as entryways, driveways, and of course, chimneys, so your Smartphone will receive an update each time a visitor (or reindeer) arrives. 

Inside, Smart alarms for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide can enable you to ensure every person’s safety while adults are entertaining or when everyone is fast asleep while visions of sugar-plums dance in their heads.

Space heaters are a great way to warm up the most-used rooms without heating an entire home, but use one that shuts off automatically if tipped over and again when it reaches a certain temperature. Smart Neighbor even has models from pureHeat that stay cool to the touch and have humidifiers and air cleaners included.

Smart Neighbor wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. For more great deals on safe and secure home automation, visit this week’s Smart Deals.


Light Up Your Holidays With Smart Home Technology

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