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      Safety tips for the holiday lighting season

      This week marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday lighting season for many Central New Yorkers. If you are one of those who plan on setting up their holiday lights in the coming week, experts say there are some steps you need to take to make sure you stay safe this holiday season.

      Mike Rankin of Home Depot in Dewitt say the first thing you want to check is that all your wires and bulbs and extension cords are in good condition. Missing bulbs and worn or frayed cords need to be replaced. When picking out your lights, be sure to only use lights that have been tested and certified by an approved laboratory.

      Extension cords can also be a hazard if they are overloaded. Rankin says to avoid having more than three lights to one outlet and avoid running the cords underneath carpets. Finally Rankin says you should consider replacing traditional bulbs with LED lights which are safer and more cost efficient.

      "The LED's are very cheap to operate. The initial cost might be a little more to start but after that they are very cool and help reduce the fire hazard," he says.