Christmas trees and outdoor Christmas and holiday lights and decorations can spell disaster for your home if not properly cared for. Christmas trees and holiday decorations cause an estimated 1000 home fires every year in the US. So, here are our tips for safely wiring your holiday lights and decorations.
1. Check for Frayed Wires and Bulb Cracks:
Make sure to discard all damaged lighting equipment. This includes damaged light strands and extension cords. Also, make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them.
2. Only Use Approved Lights
“Underwriter’s Laboratory” or “UL” approves and inspects lighting equipment. Lights that have been approved will have clear and visible seals on their tags. Red “UL” marks are safe for indoor/outdoor use, while green “UL” marks are only safe for indoor use.
3. Use Extension Cords in the Safest Way Possible
Extension cords are your friend when hanging lights and putting up decorations, but only use them when necessary and in the safest way possible. Avoid plugging extension cords into each other, or “daisy chaining” them. In addition, use only heavy-duty, outdoor-approved extension cords. Another thing to avoid is plugging any more than three sets of lights into a single extension cord. Make sure to only plug decorations into cords and outlets rated for the level of power you are using. Finally, if possible, avoid using an extension cord and just plug the decorations directly into an outlet.
4. Plug your Decorations into GFCIs
GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, help prevent electric shock by breaking the circuit when differences in the currents of hot and neutral wires occur. Plug your holiday lighting into GFCIs as another layer of protection.
5. Use Timers
Plug your decorations into special timers that turn off after you go to bed, or when you will be away from home.
6. Place Cords in Low-Traffic Areas
Do your best to keep cords out of the way from being tripped or stepped on. Check your cords regularly to make sure they are not being twisted or crushed
7. Properly Service your Electrical Equipment before the Holiday Season
Make sure any issues with your electrical equipment are taken care of before decorating for the holidays. The expert technicians at Precision Tech home services are trained to repair any issues such as faulty outlets, loose switches, GFI shorts/trips, circuit breaker trips, issues with outdoor lighting, shocks from outlets, and broken switches. Contact us, or schedule an appointment today.
Prevent disaster from occurring this holiday season in your home, and ensure you follow our tips for safely wiring your holiday lights.