The holiday season is full of jingling bells, blustery blizzards, and chestnuts roasting. Decking the halls with holiday lights can make your home feel merry and bright, but it’s important that you put up lights safely in order to avoid a potential fire.
Are Lights In Good Shape?
Before you start putting up lights, you should be checking to make sure that all of your lights are in good shape. You should be searching through lights for potential broken bulbs and cracks. You should check for any wires that appear to be frayed or loosely attached to the bulb. If you do find broken lights, you should only replace them with lights that are specific to the manufacturer that you purchased the originals from. Broken bulbs and frayed wires are a fire hazard and you should not strand lights that have signs of damage.
Do You Have Too Many Lights?
We often see houses doing major light displays during the holiday season, with tons of lights stranded onto the roof, doorways, windows, and more. These displays can be done safely as long as you are keeping track of how many light strands are joined together. You should not be stringing more than three midgets (push-in-bulbs) together. If you have light strings with screw-in bulbs (such as C7s or C9s), you shouldn’t string together more than 50 bulbs total.
Is Your Extension Cord Safe?
In order to light all of your strands, you’re likely going to need several extension cords. Make sure you are purchasing extension cords that are intended for outdoor use. Avoid running extension cords through water, such as a creek or a dip in your yard that tends to pool water. Outdoor extension cords will inevitably get wet from the snow or rain, but you should make sure that it isn’t in a spot where it might be fully submerged.
Are They On a Timer?
Most lights come with the option to set your lights to a timer which is a great option for outdoor lights. You should be turning lights off each night before you go to bed but it is easy to forget to do so when they are outside and you don’t really see them on. Set your lights to a timer so you don’t need to worry about shutting them off daily.
Follow these light safety suggestions to have a festive and fire-free holiday season. For more fire advice and safety tips, visit Rich Fire Protection’s blog.