Christmas Lighting Safety Tips
Christmas is the very best time to create your own unique display outside with beautiful lights, animated characters, special laser lights and decorations. A plain yard by summer can become a fantasyland. In fact, so many people look forward to this time of year when they spend over $6 billion* on Christmas decorations as reported in 2011.
Inside your house, with special lighting, it can become your own Christmas wonderland. With a tall tree, sparkling ornaments, garland, mantle displays, nativity scenes, poinsettia’s and twinkling lights, it can become the difference between good and great for your holiday décor.
But it’s very important to keep lighting safety tips in mind when decorating.
It’s reported that electrical fires caused by decorative lighting** are responsible for $9 million worth of property damage and nine deaths per year.* You owe it to your family to have a happy and healthy holiday season. To keep your home safe, follow these tips.
INSIDE CHRISTMAS LIGHTING TIPS
- It’s best to choose an artificial tree. Make sure it’s rated fire-resistant. If a real tree, make sure it stays watered. Never let it get dry.
- LED lights are very good because they are cool to the touch and more durable than glass bulbs.
- Check for exposed wires, damaged plugs and other defects before you start decorating.
- Are your lights certified as safefor usage inside or out? Replace burned out bulbs with same wattage before using entire string. Look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) seal on any electrical product.
- Get rid of older electrical Christmas decorations because they may not meet current safety standards. Consider recycling them as many locations that sell holiday lighting also accept your old light sets for recycling. You can also drop them off at Cross Recycling, they accept anything that has a battery, cord, or motor; most everything at no charge.
- Don’t place any Christmas lights over anything or too close that could cause a fire hazard, such as a heating vent, lighted candle, space heater or even wrapped gifts.
- Use candles in a metal or glass container away from anything that could catch fire.
- Use insulated hooks for hanging your lights on internal walls as metal screws and tacks can become electrified.
- Small children or pets should not pull or play with your Christmas lights.
OUTSIDE CHRISTMAS LIGHTING TIPS
- For placing lights higher than you can comfortably reach, use a good solid ladder on flat ground.
- Check all fasteners when hanging lights to prevent any danger associated with the lights falling. **Do not use nails or screws, which can pierce the cable and become electrified.
- Always use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. This acts as a circuit breaker and preventing electric shocks in wet conditions. Use only electrical cords that are rated for outdoor environments. Avoid running extension cords along the ground, elevate plugs and connectors with a brick, to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
- Always turn off all Christmas lights when you go to bed or when you leave your property. Even LED lights have the potential to cause a fire if left unattended.
- Don’t connect multiple electrical extension cords They can overheat. Invest in a longer extension cord.
- Never plug more than three sets of Christmas lights into a single extension cord, as this can also cause problems with overheating.
- Pack away your Christmas lights in an orderly fashion. Unravelling tangled cords can take too much time, be frustrating especially when you are preparing to hang lights outside the next year. Place them in a sealed container to prevent possible water damage.
Any questions, be certain to call 402-521-3165 or contact Signature Electric especially for professional installation of GFCI circuits and outlets. Signature Electric “Omaha electricians you can trust.”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!