Billions of lights will be used to illuminate homes around the world this holiday season. When decorating the outside of your home for the holidays, it is important to follow safety practices that will protect your home and family this season. If you dare to do it yourself, keep these points in mind.
Outdoor lights only
Make sure the lights you are using are approved for outdoor use. Not all holiday lights are created equally, even though they may look alike. Lights made for outdoor use have more insulation to protect wiring from winter weather. Because of their construction, indoor lights can be more easily damaged if using them to decorate the exterior of your home.
Power up with GFCIs
When connecting your exterior lighting strands to a power source, make sure you’re plugging into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These outlets are designed to reduce the risk of shocks and electrical shorts should water or other wet materials make contact with the socket.
Before hanging any lights on your home, inspect each strand for damage. Frayed or worn wiring, as well as damaged insulation, indicate the lights are not safe for use. Check the plugs and connection points for damage as well. If you notice problems with any strand, even if only in one spot, it should be repaired before using, or thrown out. Replace any broken or burnt-out bulbs before hanging.
Hook lights up
Only use insulated hooks to hang holiday lights outside your home. Staples, screws, and nails can pierce the insulation around wiring, damaging the electrical cord. Using insulated hooks for your holiday lighting will protect the lighting strands from damage.
Limit your strands
While multiple strands can be connected to create a longer length of lighting, it’s best to limit the number of connections by using single strands that cover a longer length. If using extension cords to power your exterior lights, limit the number of cords connecting to three or less. Otherwise, you can overload your outlets, causing circuit breakers and fuses to trip.
A home’s holiday lighting often extends to the landscaping. To decorate trees and shrubs, use LED light strands. LED lights do not emit as much heat as traditional holiday lighting strands, protecting dry foliage from catching fire. LED lighting strands are the most efficient choice for your entire holiday lighting project, using 75% less energy than traditional bulbs.
When using a ladder to hang lights outside your home, make sure it is stable before climbing. Move the ladder frequently while hanging lights; don’t try to reach, as it could cause you to lose your balance. Alert a family member at home before you begin your project, so they can look out for your safety should an accident occur. Don’t climb on your roof to hang lights; snow and ice make your roof slick and can cause you to slip and fall. You can also cause damage to roofing materials by walking on them.
Or, leave the holiday lighting to the pros!
Don’t sacrifice your outdoor décor because of the hassle. Frye Electric offers professional holiday lighting services for your home. We can save you from all the troubles mentioned above. When you purchase a holiday lights plan from Frye Electric, you’ll be purchasing our energy-efficient lighting strands which will help conserve power while illuminating your home. Our lighting strands can also be purchased in lengths that fit your home, eliminating the need to attach multiple strands. We’ll work with you to design a lighting plan for your home that allows for safe installation and use this holiday season. Contact us today to check this task off of your holiday to-do list!