The holidays are approaching and we are starting to string our lights in and outside the house. A house lit up with lights is a beautiful sight but stringing lights around your home can be a safety hazard if you don’t take the proper precautions. Run through this checklist to make sure you’re being as safe as possible when stringing your lights this holiday season!:
- Check for any defective lights and cords: Before stringing the lights, check for any cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
- Keep your tree well-watered: The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly! There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year. So keep your tree watered so it stays fresh and green.
- Throw away any old strands of lights: We know you want to save every penny you can around the holidays, but modern lights have fused plugs, which prevent sparks in case of a short circuit. Old strands don’t have fuses.
- Replace any strands with burnt out bulbs: But make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs when replacing.
- Keep an eye on extension cords: They tend to overheat! Touch it first, if it is hot, unplug it right away.
- Don’t use tacks nails or screws to hang lights: These can pierce the cables and they can become electrified. Use insulated hooks.
- Elevate plugs and connectors with a brick when running extension cords outside: Make sure to elevate the plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connectors.
- Take down any ground-level extension cords: This will prevent people from tripping over them!
- Make sure your outdoor lights are rated for outdoor use: Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors.
- Don’t leave lights on when you leave the house: Also don’t leave them on overnight.
- After the holidays, put the lights away in well-sealed container: This will prevent water damage and will block hungry rodents from chewing on the cords!
Always remember to keep it fun but safe.
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