Christmas season has snuck up on us once again and putting up our beautiful light displays is not always an easy task. Aside from competing with last year's display or your neighbor's new music-synchronized lights, safety can often be forgotten.
Whether you choose to put up a small Christmas tree, simple string lights around your house or go all out to compete against your neighbors, it's important to remember home electrical safety. Many times, something as small as plugging something in can be a hazard, especially multiple lights at once.If you are in need of an electrician now, call our team at Randy's Electric in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at 763-560-5600. We would love to help you!
Christmas Tree Light Tips
Christmas trees are a family favorite and provide a nice, cozy environment. Unfortunately, they can also be a major hazard if it is not taken care of properly. We have a few tips for you to remember this holiday season when putting up your indoor lights and keeping your tree safe:
- For a real tree, ensure it is watered daily. If the tree gets too dry, it can become a fire hazard. It takes less than 10 seconds with the lights on to start a fire when not watered properly.
- For a fake tree, ensure it is non-flammable. If yours isn't, consider replacing it with a non-flammable one.
- Before you put the lights on your tree, make sure there are no broken bulbs, cords, or frayed wires. This will be helpful in avoiding an electrical fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the case of any sparks or fires.
- Turn off your indoor lights during the day or when you are not home.
- Consider purchasing LED lights for your Christmas tree. These lights give off less heat and perform with higher efficiency, all while saving you money
Outdoor Holiday Light Tips
It is a tradition to put bright lights outside your home each year. While the lights can be eye-catching, it is vital to remember safety while doing so. Be sure to consider the following tips, even if your display consists of only a couple of string lights:
- Only use ground fault outlets. This will help you avoid overloading your outlets. Additionally, utilize surge protectors when possible and tape down wires to avoid a tripping hazard.
- Do not use staples or nails when hanging lights. This can penetrate the wires and create a hazard. Instead, use hooks, adhesive tape, or plastic clips to hang your lights.
- Use only a wooden or fiberglass ladder when hanging lights on your home. Aluminum ladders can increase the risk of electrocution.
- Make sure your lights are outdoor-specific. Not all Christmas lights are created equally, and some strings are less durable than others. It is important to find lights that are created to withstand weather conditions.
- Double-check that your outlets are GFCI-rated. This prevents short-circuiting, making them great for hanging lights.
- Get a light timer. This will turn your lights on/off for you without you having to remember to do so before leaving or sleeping.
- After Christmas, take down your lights as soon as you are able. Christmas lights were not created to withstand long periods of time.
Whether your lights were insanely elaborate, or simple and delicate, these tips will ensure you a happy and safe Christmas season. Not only will this help you and your family, but it will also help your lights last longer. Call your electrician if you have any more questions or concerns.
Other Holiday Electrical Safety Tips
- Keep all electrical decorations out of reach of children and pets. Sometimes, blocking off the part of your house where the tree is can be helpful in avoiding hazards. Additionally, buying a smaller tree to place on an elevated platform can be beneficial.
- Unplug your lights when changing a bulb or doing any type of maintenance.
- Make sure your decorations are away from any heat sources, such as fireplaces. If they are too close, they can cause fires.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions before plugging in any of your holiday decorations. Some are not compatible with extension cords and can cause harm if done wrong, be sure to read closely.
Whichever way you choose to decorate your home this year, make sure to do so responsibly and use these tips. Contact your electrician if you come across any issues or need help setting up your displays.
If you are looking for expert, licensed electricians to help you with your lights, give us a call at Randy's Electric at 763-560-5600. Our team of electricians are highly trained and prepared to help with whatever electrical need you have. From home wiring to safety services to ceiling fan installations, we can do it for you. If you need additional help or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us online.