Install Christmas Lights Safely
Posted on 12-10-2021
When you think of holiday decorating, lights are a big part of that festiveness. But, all that extra glow can put your home and business at risk if precautions aren't taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2015-2019, fire departments responded to an average of 160 fires annually from home Christmas trees. These fires caused on average two deaths, 12 injuries and $10 million in property damage annually. In addition, outdoor lights can be hazardous when faulty equipment is used.
Here are some safety tips when installing your holiday lights for both indoors and outdoors:
Test your lights
The first thing you should do before decorating with string lights is to plug them in and check for any burned out bulbs. Inspect sockets for missing insulation and appearance of a melted bulb socket. Frayed wires should also be detected. Discard a strand showing any of these hazardous signs.
Invest in quality lights
Getting a good bargain on holiday lights isn't the way to go if it means forgoing safety. Check the cord for the manufacturer's UL label to make sure the lights were designed to endure all types of weather if using outdoors. Check for any loose connectors and check that fuses are at the plug to protect from overheating.
Connect to a GFCI outlet
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting Outlet is an added protection against fire for outdoor lights. The GFCI will trip trip if there's a short or overload on your outdoor lights keeping the breaker in your house or business from tripping first.
Avoid staples and nails
Mount wires to a stable surface of your home or business with plastic clips meant for the purpose of hanging lights. Staples and nails can pierce the wire insulation, and wind can cause wire to rub against nails or staples wearing away the insulation. This can cause short circuit fires.
Water your Christmas tree
By keeping your tree well-watered at all times you can add that extra protection against fires. A dry tree is kindling to lights.
Find out more from the National Fire Protection Association
Have a safe and joyful holiday season!
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