Many people are still preparing for their Christmas or holiday displays. Something about holiday lights and decorations just must be shared, which is why 85% of Americans will decorate their yards. When you are ready to show off your holiday spirit, it is important to do it safely. All too many holiday disasters occur due to holiday lights and décor. To ensure your Christmas goes smoothly, Peterkin Electric would like to share some electrical safety tips.
Tips for Buying Holiday Lights & Decorations
This is about the time of year many people will begin buying new holiday lights and decorations. When buying holiday lights and equipment there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
• Buy UL-list electrical decorations and extension cords. UL or Underwriters Laboratories is nationally recognized to test and verify independent products for electrical safety. UL listed products have been tested and approved and will help enhance electrical safety, especially for outdoor lights, décor and when extension cords are used.
• Make sure Outdoor holiday lights are rated for outdoor use. Often we forget to double check our holiday lights and see if they are for indoor or outdoor use. As there is little difference between them when you look at the two types of light, make sure the label states for outdoor use.
• Invest in a Heavy-duty extension cord. When setting up your holiday display, you might find the need for a few extra extension cords. Avoid buying cheaper extension cords for outside. To ensure the safety of the home, consider buying heavy duty extension cords and those that are for outdoor use.
How Do You Have Christmas Lights & Decorations Safely?
When hanging your holiday lights and setting up you decorations there are a few things you will want to make sure is done properly. A number of electrical hazards are caused by poor installation. When setting up your holiday lights, here are a few things you may want to consider.
• Choose your ladder carefully. One thing one never considers is the ladder they use to hang their lights and decorations. However, be safe and avoid using a ladder made of conductive materials. Wooden or plastic/fiberglass based ladders are much safer than steel or metal based ladders. To avoid electrical shock while on your ladder, consider what ladder you are using.
• Make sure the lights are secured. You never want to hang lights that are ready to fall off at any moment. It is important that the lights and decorations will not fall and lead to fire during the next bit of wind.
• Make sure to use a GFCY outlet. For all outdoor electrical uses, you should always plug into a GFCI outlet. These outlets should already be present outside, but if for some crazy reason they are not, use a different outlet and we encourage you to change any exterior outlet that is not GFCI. These outlets are designed to respond faster to water exposure to the electrical system which will prevent a fire or electrocution.
• Set a timer. Do not leave your lights and decorations on 24/7. Overheating and electrical fires are a major issue. Instead invest in a timer system to only have your lights and decorations on during the time people will enjoy them and have them shut off when people are at work or asleep.