Safety First When Stringing Holiday Lights
While aesthetically appealing, holiday lighting displays can also be quite dangerous. Older lights or poorly planned lighting projects can quickly turn tragic. However, this much beloved holiday tradition does not have to cease and desist. Instead, some simple safety precautions are all it takes to ensure this year's lighting display is both stunning and safe.
Make sure exterior lights are designed for outdoor use. Not all lights can handle the elements, so those old Christmas tree lights might not be able to enjoy a second life as part of a home's exterior lighting decor.
Plug lights directly into the electrical sockets rather than relying heavily on extension cords. Employ surge protector strips if there are not enough outlets available. Before plugging anything in, consult the fuse box to determine how much each circuit can safely handle.
Don't used damaged lighting sets, including those with frayed strings, unstable connections, exposed wires, or broken or cracked sockets.
Make sure all external lights are securely attached. Wind can do significant damage to bulbs, which can lead to additional safety risks. As a precaution, attach all lights firmly to walls or anything else that will not blow away when a stiff wind arrives.
Inside the home, be extra careful when using an artificial Christmas tree. Electric lights should never be used on a metallic tree.
Routinely check all cords temperatures. If a cord feels too hot, unplug it and find a replacement.
Don’t leave the lights on when no adults are home. If the home is empty or if just kids are home, make sure the lights are off. Avoid using timers that automatically turn the lights on, as it's possible they will turn on when no one is home. Unplug all cords when going away for the holidays just to be safe.
Make sure all cords are visible. Don't bury cords underneath rugs or floor mats to avoid personal injuries.
Hanging lights shouldn't be a solo project. Whether hanging lights inside or outside, never do so alone. A stiff wind might come along and blow the ladder away or an unstable ladder might lead to a fall. Accidents happen when hanging lights indoors as well, so make sure to have an adult partner on hand to avoid injury.
Make sure kids cannot reach lighting displays. Kids often adore holiday lighting displays and their natural curiosity is to reach for lights. Avoid potential accidents by keeping lights well beyond the reach of children.