Weather you pride yourself on your holiday lighting skills or you simply strive to match Charly Brown’s effort safety should be your top priority. The risk of fire is heightened during the holiday season. Christmas trees aren’t the only fire risk, outdoor lights, extension cords, and power bars also carry risk. Follow these holiday lighting tips.
Holiday Light Inspection
The first step to any holiday decorating task list is lighting inspection. Lights are often rushed back in to their boxes at the end of each year, this poses potential risk to their condition. While untangling look for any breaks in the insulation around the wires. In addition, look for missing or broken lightbulbs in the run. Missing or broken lights should be replaced with a light of the same voltage. Leaving an empty socket or a broken bulb can result in the light overheating. Inspect extension cords and power bars for wire damage and burn spots, do not use it if it’s damaged.
All outdoor lighting should be UL rated and specify its use for outdoor applications. Use proper mounting brackets to ensure that the cables insulation can’t be damaged in your installation. Avoid using staples, nails, screws, or any metal fasteners on outdoor lighting.
Installing lighting and other décor outside in the winter months can be dangerous. Plan to have a helper for safe use of ladders, and to help attach lighting. Follow the manufacturers instructions to not exceed the amount of light strands that can be combined in a circuit. DO NOT OVERLOAD YOU EXTENTION CORDS, limit extension cords to 3 light strands over a 9 foot span. Consider using a surge protector for added security. Any lights that are near moisture like a live tree should be plugged into a CFGI receptacle.
When the holiday season has passed and it’s time to pack away your holiday lights try winding them around an old wrapping paper roll. Keeping your lights free of tangles will keep them free of damage until you need them again.
The holidays are a time to rejoice in family, to appreciate the ones you love, and those who love you. Keep them safe by following good safety practices with these holiday lighting tips.