Is there anything more spectacular than walking around the neighborhood during Christmas and seeing all of the homes decorated with holiday lights? Some neighborhoods make a competition out of it, with one neighbor trying to outdo the next. Every one of them tries to create a more spectacular display than the year before so they can be “the house.”
While we all love creating and seeing these displays, we also want everyone’s home to be safe. There are some basic outdoor holiday lighting safety tips that should be followed in order to make sure you do not inadvertently put your home and family at risk.
- Use only UL approved lights for your outdoor displays
- Check all lighting for damaged sockets and frayed wiring
- Check all bulbs and replace any broken bulbs as well as any bulbs that are not working properly
- Do not loosely hang lights over branches our other outdoor areas. Instead, secure the lighting to thicker branches, tree trunks, boards, mailboxes, etc…
- Use only outdoor, heavy extension cords
- Lights should not be placed near water supplies, such as a downspout
- Avoid dangerous areas, such as feeds from your utility pole
- Only use GFCI outlets for lighting
- If plugs or outlets get warm when in use, discontinue use as the circuit could be getting overloaded
- You should use no more than three sets of lights for each extension cord
- All lighting should be turned off when leaving the home or before going to bed
In addition to these tips, you should enlist at least one addition helper when stringing the lights. If climbing on a ladder, be sure to have someone holding the ladder for support the entire time you are using it. Avoid trying to untangle lighting while on the ladder, as this could cause you to lose your footing and fall.