Tips on How to Handle Christmas Lights Properly from Plumbline’s Electrician Experts
January 02, 2020
A big part of the holidays is wrangling your Christmas lights. If you want your house to stand out on the block, and if you want the inside of your house to give you that warm Christmas cheer, then you’ll be reaching for the twinkling lights to put up.
But are you lost on the first steps on how to do that correctly? Do you just wing it every year and hope for the best? Do you even think about electrical safety as you string up your lights?
Don’t fret. The electrician experts at Plumbline are here with their best safety tips when it comes to hanging Christmas lights properly.
How to Put Up Christmas Lights Safely
- Always test your lights before you hang them up. You probably already do this to make sure you’re not wasting your time hanging up dead lights, but you should also do this for safety. Examine your lights closely for loose wires, exposed bulbs, bent plugs, missing connectors, or anything else that could become a safety hazard. This is especially true when it comes to the lights on your Christmas tree. About 160 home fires are started by Christmas trees every year.
- Turn off your Christmas lights when you’re away or asleep. This includes the inside and outside strands. Only keeping them on when you’re home to monitor them ensures that nothing bad will happen while you’re away and unable to prevent a fire disaster.
- Don’t skimp on the cost of high-quality lights. Just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean it is good for your home. Poorly made lights can increase your risk of fire. To avoid that, buy lights that are a minimum of 22-gauge and show that they have been tested for quality control.
- There are specific lights you should buy for the ones you place outside. Ensure they are outside and weatherproof. In addition, make sure the plug you use is a ground fault circuit interrupting outlet, which means it will trip your breaker if the outlet gets too overloaded. This protects your home from any disasters.
- Don’t use extension cords. You don’t want to overload your circuits and cause damage to your outlets and wiring. Plan to hang your Christmas lights where there are free outlets.
- Don’t use staples or sharp clips to secure your lights outside despite what you might see in famous Christmas movies. This could damage the wiring of the lights, making them hazardous, or could hurt the inside wiring of your own home.