This is the time of the year, when people put up their Christmas decorations… bathing their houses, and trees, in pretty bright lights. Because the plug in lights are UL rated we make the assumption that all lights are safe. That is not the case. I want to tell you a little story about something that recently happened to me. I have alot of little vignettes throughout my house where I put lights. Because these areas are small, I tend to use battery powered lights. This year I bought a few boxes of them at Menards. I was getting ready to put them out and about... But first, I wanted to test them to see if they worked. It’s a good thing I did, otherwise we could have had a BIG problem on our hands. What happened was this. I put the double AA batteries in the control box and flipped the switch on. Normally the lights would light and you’d be all set for Christmas. In this case, I did that… and smoke immediately filled the room, as the lights started to spark. The smell was horrible. I had to yank the batteries out of the control box, asap, to avoid a fire. It was a scary moment, sitting at my kitchen table. Can you imagine if I had not tested them first? If I had just put them in place and randomly turned them on, whenever, who knows what damage these light sets would have done. Thank heavens, I avoided a potential catastrophe. I tell you this, not to put a damper on your Christmas decorating, but to keep you diligent this holiday season. Accidents happen and you need to prepare to help prevent them. Needless to say, my hubby took the lights back to Menards and told them they were not safe. Hopefully they took them off their shelves to avoid future problems. Meanwhile, we got some new ones at Walmart that work fine.