The holidays are a festive time of year, filled with joy and thanksgiving. Many families decorate their homes with brightly colored bulbs to celebrate the season. Unfortunately, holiday cheer can lead to serious damage if lights are not displayed safely. Here are some holiday light safety suggestions.
Holiday Light Safety Prep
Before you hang the first strand, inspect your lights. Be on the lookout for frayed cords, loose connections or broken sockets. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you are not overloading connections. Always unplug your lights before you change any bulbs, replace fuses or make any sort of repairs.
If you have older lights, it may be time to replace them. Look at the packaging to make sure that they’ve been tested, and purchase only lights that are UL-listed. Outdoor lights should only be used outside, and indoor lights should remain inside your home. If you are not sure if lights are safe for outdoor use, look for the UL mark on the packaging. Green-coded bulbs are for indoor use only, red ones are for indoor or outdoor use. If you’ll be using extension cords outside, make sure they are weather resistant.
Hanging Holiday Lights
Lights should only be hung using specialized hangers. Stapling or nailing down lights can damage the wire’s insulation and lead to fires. Lights should be securely fastened to trees, walls or some sort of firm support. Electric lights should never be used on a metallic tree.
Hang lights high enough to prevent the hands of curious children from getting cut or tangled in the wires. If you’ll be using a ladder, opt for a wooden one rather than one made from a conductive material.
Safety Throughout the Holiday Season
Once your lights are up, check them on a regular basis for burned out bulbs. One empty socket can cause an entire strand of lights to overheat. The wattage of your replacement bulbs should match the rest of the strand. Also look for signs of damage from weather or pests. Turn off all of your lights before you go to sleep or leave the house.
Decorating your home for the holidays is fun, but it’s important to remember that safety comes first. Reduce your risk of injury or damage to your home by following these holiday light safety tips. You can also keep your home safe by practicing preventative maintenance. The professionals at Hassle Free Home Services will help you keep your home in great shape during the holidays and all year long.