Many of us are putting up Christmas lights this time of year. McCauley Electric has some safety tips and other suggestions to get the most out of your holiday lighting.
Christmas lights are one of the ways most of us change the look of our homes this time of year (even if it’s only temporary). Christmas lights add a literal sparkle to the holiday season and provide a nice change of pace. But, as with any electrical alterations, care should be taken when using them.
Make sure all Christmas lights that are to be used outside are designed for outdoor use. This should be clearly marked on the light’s packaging. These lights should be waterproof or water-resistant. Never use indoor-rated lights outside! Ideally, the lights should also be certified by Underwriters’ Laboratories. The “UL” symbol should appear on the package or attached to the lights’ wiring.
Check to make sure all the Christmas lights you’ll be using are working before you begin putting them up. Nothing is more frustrating than discovering bad bulbs after stretching and straining to string those lights along your roof! If you’re hanging lights in high places, makes sure your ladder is in good repair. Never hang Christmas lights in these areas if you’re alone. Never install the lights in a tree or structure that contacts power lines.
After getting the Christmas lights set up, you’ll of course need to plug them in. As with the lights themselves, all outdoor extension cords should be marked for outdoor use. Never use an indoor extension cord outside! It’s also a good idea to avoid placing extension cords in high-traffic areas. You should tape down all cords that cross walkways. Avoid excessive cord lengths that might bunch up or cause tripping hazards.
If possible, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet for your Christmas lights. As we discussed in an earlier blog, this type of outlet shuts down the circuit if too much current enters the system.
No matter the location, you should make sure to turn off all Christmas lights when you leave home and when going to bed.
If you need some help lighting up your home for the holidays, McCauley Electric can help. Give us a call at 678-362-2881 to discuss Christmas lights or any of your electrical needs. If you have any feedback you’d like to share with us, please use our Contact Us page. We love hearing from you!