If you're unpacking the Christmas ornaments – lights and all – you're probably strategically planning where you're going to hang them. Obviously the tree, but you're the type of family that likes to go all out – how about around the swimming pool? Before you get out the staple gun and step ladder, there are some things you should know about water safety.

Keep out of reach of water
When deciding where you're going to hang up the Christmas lights, take into consideration a very important factor – electricity. It's not that lights can't go outside, but rather that it's very dangerous to have extension cords around the perimeter of the pool. If you can somehow manage to keep lights far enough away you can put them up, so long as they aren't around the pool. It's best to keep them outside of the deck area altogether. They'll still look lovely and will illuminate the backyard for any occasion.

Exterior lighting suggestions
Essential Energy provided safety pointers for putting up lights – tips for indoors and outdoors are pretty similar. Remember, even outdoor decorations are flammable. Don't place lights near objects like patio furniture, flags or other items that are flammable. Additionally, keep power points and adaptors in a place where your kids can't get ahold of them. Ask yourself the following questions before you decide on a place to put up the lights.

  • Can someone trip over the cord?
  • Are there any missing globes?
  • Do the adaptors appear to be overcrowded?

If any of these are a yes, it's time to reconsider the location of your Christmas lights. Each of these is on the "don't" list provided by Essential Energy. These warnings aren't to be taken lightly.

Accidents shed light on hazards
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 230 house fires that sparked from Christmas trees each year between 2007 and 2011. Electrical failures accounted for one-third of them and one in six occurred because the trees were too close to a heat source.

Families don't have to forgo lights altogether, but they should consider hanging them in suggested locations and keeping them away from the water at all costs. If you really want to illuminate your pool, call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals to have LED lights installed. They're a great way to spread some holiday cheer without starting a fire.