Whether you decorate your house with a few strands of holiday lights or like out of the movie Christmas Vacation it is important to put safety first. So while turning your home into a holiday lighting masterpiece please follow these safety measures to prevent any catastrophes.
Check Lights and Wiring
Prior to decorating with lights, be sure to pre-plug your lights in to see if you have any faulty bulbs that need to be replaced. Also, look for frayed or loose wires, missing insulation and melted or mangled-looking bulb sockets, any of which could cause a short circuit and start a fire. And damaged light sets should be discarded or repaired. Using good quality light sets is also highly recommended with a minimum of 22-gauge wiring, no loose connectors and have fuses at the plug to protect against overheating.
Use GFCI Outlets
To prevent a short or an overload on your lights it is recommended that all outside holiday lights be connected to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting (GFCI) outlet. The GFCI outlet will trip before the breaker in your house and adding a layer of protection against fires.
Fasten Your Outdoor Lights
When fastening your outdoor lights be sure to use properly sized plastic lighting mounting clips or hooks verses staples or nails. If your lighting becomes wind-blown the wire insulation can become worn away as it rubs up against stapes or nails and cause a risk of producing a short circuit fire. And it is important to keep your lights clear of electrical service lines connecting to houses. It is also important to only use outdoor-rated extension cords and to protect plugs from being moved or getting wet.
Hanging Outdoor Lights Safely
Please use proper ladder safety measures before you start dangling off of a ladder to hang your lights just right. According to Mayfield Clinic, a ladder should be appropriately sized for the job and in good shape. Make sure the ladder is stable, secure and placed at 75-degree angle. Make sure you wear slip- resistant shoes and don’t climb the ladder more than waist high above the top of the ladder. If you have poor balance or dizziness, don’t hang your lights and hire a professional!