The holiday season is upon us which means that many people are decorating homes to showcase the spirit of the season. Before you set out to decorate your home and hang Christmas lights, it is important that you educate yourself on proper light safety. Though outdoor lights and decorations can add the perfect festive holiday touch to your home, failure to abide by proper safety precautions can turn tragic.
SAFETY TIPS FOR HANGING YOUR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Before you set out to hang your Christmas lights, there are a number of precautions you should take to ensure your lights are safe and functioning properly before hanging them.
- Try to avoid bargain lights – Many lights that may appear to be a good shopping bargain can cause fire hazards because they are cheaply made. It’s important to use lights that have been properly rated and tested, and have a safety rating clearly marked on the packaging. Properly rated lights will also have labels that are affixed to the electrical cords.
- Be sure there is no fraying – If you store away your holiday lights and reuse them each year, it’s important you check the cords on the lights to be sure they are not damaged or frayed. If the cords are damaged and you elect to hang them anyway, you may experience an electrical short. This can lead to a fire or can cause damage to your other holiday lights.
- Hang lights in proper locations – You should never hang your Christmas lights near space heaters, fireplaces, or any other items or structures that can cause a fire hazard. Be sure that the bulbs are no where near any type of flammable materials posing a safety hazard to your home.
- Use the right lights – There is a drastic difference between indoor or outdoor lights, so it’s imperative you make certain to use the right lights. Holiday lights need to be used in the proper environment for which they are designed.
- Safe and adequate hanging – When hanging your Christmas lights never use staples, tacks, or even nails, but rather use insulated light holders that are specifically designed for proper hanging.
- Choose your extension cords wisely – More than likely when hanging your lights, you will find it necessary to use extension cords. If so, be sure you choose outdoor cords and do not overload the extension cords with wattage that is contrary to what they were designed to handle. Also, make sure any cords you use are placed properly so that others walking by will not trip over them.
- Be sure to replace bulbs as needed – If any of the bulbs in your outdoor lights burn out, it is important you replace them right away. It is very dangerous to have empty sockets when your strings of holiday lights are plugged in.
- Don’t leave the lights on when you are away – Though many of us like to display our Christmas lights and decorations throughout the evening hours, it is a good practice not to leave the lights on when you are away from home in case a problem develops with them. You want to be able to handle any problems that arise quickly to avoid damage or fires. With that said, it is much safer to turn the Christmas lights off while away from home and then turn them on when you return.
A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL
Gervais Electric, Inc. wants to take this time to send along wishes for a safe and happy holiday season, from our family to yours. Be sure to safeguard your home and family during the holidays and when hanging your Christmas lights, take every safety precaution possible. If you avoid taking shortcuts and use proper safety procedures, you can enjoy a beautiful holiday outdoor display. Remember also, for all your home electrical needs, Gervais Electric stands ready to serve you- not just during the holidays, but all year round!