The holidays are upon us, and soon we will be bringing out the Christmas decorations and lights. Generally, decorating the interior of our homes is a simple task that requires replacing our every day knick-knacks with our Christmas ones. Most of us decorate a Christmas tree with a string of lights that plug into an outlet. There are no outside weather elements to deal with. But decorating the exterior of our homes is another matter, especially when it comes to the huge light displays some of us wish to emulate. Today, Burley Electrical Services would like to offer you some safety tips when hanging your outdoor Christmas lights.
Outdoor Christmas Light Safety
1. Utilize the appropriate rated lights. There is a difference between interior lights and exterior ones. Make sure you double check the label and make certain they are designed for the outdoors. The outdoor lights are weatherproofed and can withstand moisture. Indoor lights are typically not weatherproofed, and will be susceptible to shorting out in wet conditions, such as; rains or snow.
2. Plug lights into the grounded outlets. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are optimal, for the built in fuse. If there is a power overload, instead of igniting a fire, the outlet will shut off and potentially save the fuses in your lights.
3. Use caution when hanging. When your are stringing up your lights, use the plastic hooks. Nails or screw could damage the cords, and cause injury or contribute to damage.
4. Take the time to replace the bulbs. Not only is broken bulbs an eye sore, but it is a safety hazard. Take a moment to go through the strings and replace broken out bulbs. It also is waste of energy to allow broken bulb or burned out bulbs left unmaintained.
5. Stay clear of heat. Heated units, like TVs, electrical devices, fireplaces, and permanent light fixtures should all be avoided. Another element that doesn’t play well with electricity.
6. Avoid cord entanglement. Cords should not be tangled with each other. If you have places where they cluster, use a zip tie to secure them without the prospective tangled mess. Ensure all extensions and excess light cords are tucked safely away from foot traffic. Keep the naturally klutz safe from harm and don’t over stretch a cord that it becomes elevated, just invest in an additional extension cord for the safety of pets, children and fellow adults, along with your beautiful light display.
7. Practice all safety measures when using a ladder. Climbing a ladder can be a danger all on its own without adding the extra work, especially in those hard to reach places. Follow the warning signs adorned your ladder and ensure your ladder is on safe, level ground before you begin your assent.
8. Install electrical timers. Using a light timer is a great way schedule your lights, and thus conserving energy, while still having the most awesome display on the block. The standardized time is from dusk till 11pm. When purchasing your timer, do make sure you are investing in an outdoor, or weatherproof timer.
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Are you overdue for an electrical inspection? Burley Electrical Services can inspect your property to make sure there are no issues with your electrical wiring. Contact us for all your electrical needs; including adding more outlets!