Safety for Holiday Lights

Holiday lights are going up all over the world already, and most people put them up by themselves.   If you do the job yourself,  think about safety for holiday lights while you work, and don’t end up like Clark Griswold!  To protect your home and family this season, keep these points in mind.

Use Outdoor lights and GFCIs only

Make sure the lights you are using are approved for outdoor use.  Not all holiday lights are created equal, even though they may look alike. Lights made for outdoor use have more insulation to protect wiring from winter rain and snow.  Indoor lights are not built to withstand the weather and can be more easily damaged if you use them on the exterior of your home.   When you connect the exterior lighting strands to power, make sure you’re plugging into a circuit with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI.)  These safety-designed outlets reduce the risk of shocks and electrical shorts, even if water gets into the circuit.

Before you hang lights on your home, closely check each strand of lights for damage.  If you see any problem with a strand, repair it or toss it out.  Don’t risk a fire for the few dollars it costs to replace a strand of lights.   Plug in each strand to check it before you hang it up.

Use LEDs and Insulated Hooks

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.

You should use plastic hooks to hang holiday lights outside your home, instead of metal staples, screws, and nails.  Although they have been used for many years, they aren’t as safe as hooks because of the risk of piercing the insulation on the electrical cord. Using insulated hooks is better and will be easier when putting them up or taking them down in future years.   Good plastic hooks protect the lighting strands from damage.

Although multiple strands can be connected end to end to create a long circuit, it’s best to limit the number of connections by using longer lengths of single strands.  If using multiple strands or extension cords, limit the number of cords to three or less.  You don’t want to have too many lights on one outlet, which can cause an overload and cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Installation safety

No matter what size your home is, single-story or two-story, a fall from the roof or a ladder will hurt you.   Be sure ladders are stable before climbing, and move the ladder often to avoid reaching and losing your balance.   Make sure a family member at home knows you are doing the job so they can watch you and call for help if needed.  It is best not to climb on your roof to hang lights.  It can be slick up there, and you can also cause damage to roofing materials by walking on them.

Another option is to leave it to the Pros!

Unless you really like to do this yourself and are handy on a ladder with electricity, consider asking us for help.   We offer professional holiday lighting services for your home and can save you from all the troubles mentioned above.  When you purchase a holiday lighting plan from Frye Electric, we’ll provide energy-efficient lighting strands that will conserve power and illuminate your home brightly.  Our lighting strands can also be purchased in lengths that fit your home, so there is no need to attach multiple strands together.  We’ll work with you to design a lighting plan for your home that allows for safe installation and use this season. Call us today and we’ll take care of it for you – NO MESS and NO STRESS!

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