Driving past houses to see all the holiday lighting and displays is an event many families look forward to year after year. And as much as seeing all the colors lets your heart be light, setting up those big, beautiful displays takes a lot of preplanning and safety measures. Measures not everyone is acquainted with. Whether your holiday light displays are small or large, there are key things to remember to avoid electrical hazards this holiday.
Here are five things to keep in mind.
Update Those Outlets
Both inside and outside, your electrical outlets are the first thing that should be checked before decorating lights around your home. Be sure to check that the outlet isn’t loose or damaged from weather or age. Damaged outlets are a huge cause for fire, and updating them largely decreases the risk of something catastrophic happening. This is the first holiday lighting safety step you should take before you deck the halls (and your yard).
Check the Lights
Immediately following our first holiday lighting safety tip, check your lights for defects. Over time, wires can fray and insulation can tear, leaving potential for fire. Improperly packing away strand after strand of lights for months can be damaging, so be sure to inspect them first. Sockets with busted or missing bulbs are often overlooked and need to be addressed. You don’t want to give the wrong light show this holiday season with a house fire.
Don’t Daisy Chain
As tempting as it may be when you don’t have enough outdoor outlets available surrounding your home, daisy chaining surge protectors and extension cords is less than wise. When you plug multiple cords and protectors to each other, your risk of fire increases. The increased electrical demand on your home can damage wires and blow fuses. Your best bet is to install more outlets around your home so it can meet the electrical demand of a stellar holiday light display.
Switch to LED lights
Considering switching to LED lights this holiday season? Not only do they use less electricity (making your electrical bill smile), but they also maintain a cooler temperature than incandescents. While holiday lights are usually hot to the touch, LED lights are much cooler, reducing the risk of overheating. For holiday lighting safety that is also economically and environmentally-friendly, LED lights are a smarter choice.
Don’t Use Nails
When stringing holiday lights around a home, many opt to use nails, screws, or staples to hold their lights in place. Nails and staples can pierce the protective insulation of wires and create an electrical hazard. Consider, instead, using light clips to hang holiday lights in and out of your home to avoid any damage to your lights and reduce the risk of a house fire.
As much as decorating your house for the holiday season is fun and festive, taking time to follow a few holiday lighting safety tips will make all the difference in easing your mind so you aren’t constantly worried about a potential mishap. The best part of the holiday season is sharing, so be sure to share these tips with a neighbor or loved one to ensure their safety as well!
Need a bit of help to get your home holiday-ready? Contact us here at Eric Krise Electrical for outlet upgrades, replacements, or installation.