Do you feel like the holidays aren’t complete without at least a few strands of lights? Whether you use them inside, outside, or everywhere, you must make sure you use them properly. Cut down on the risks of your lights starting a fire or overloading your electrical system with some simple tips.
1. Check for Damage
Checking for damage is important, especially if you opt for older lights. If you pull your decorations out of storage, go over every strand. Ensure they are in good condition. Pay attention to loose plugs, frayed cords or wires, broken sockets, and other signs of damage. It’s cheaper to replace the lights than to repair your home after a fire.
2. Use a Timer
Though you may have neighbors who run their lights all day and every day, you should turn them off or unplug them every night. Christmas lights produce a lot of heat, which can melt some materials that are nearby. As they heat up, they can even produce sparks and start a fire. Adding a timer lets you set the time for the lights to turn on and off every day, even if you forget about them.
3. Choose the Right Lights
Never use indoor lights outside. Indoor lights are only suitable for indoor use. Outdoor lights have a red “UL” marking that tells you they are safe to use outside. The lights must go through rigorous testing to ensure they can stand up to weather conditions like rain and sleet. Indoor lights are likely to break down when used outside.
4. Avoid Overloading the System
While Clark Griswold was lucky that he didn’t burn down his house, using as many lights as he did in the holiday flick is dangerous. You risk overloading the electrical system, which can cause an indoor or outdoor fire. Using too many lights on a single circuit can also blow the circuit and require an emergency repair in the middle of the holidays. You might find it helpful to use other decorations to show your love of the holidays and to cut down on the number of lights.
5. Pick the Right Extension Cords
If you don’t have outdoor outlets, extension cords come in handy. They allow you to connect the lights and power all of them via one outlet. Choose extension cords rated for outdoor use, and only use them in grounded outlets or GFCI outlets. While grounded outlets accept three-pronged cords, GFCI outlets will quickly shut down the power if too much electricity reaches them.
The holidays are a time for celebrating and not worrying about what might happen to your home. You can easily use these tips when you decorate your home with all of your favorite lights. If you live in the Jonesboro, AR area and need help with lighting services around Christmas, Chamberlain is just a phone call away.