The holiday season is known for gift-giving, cold weather and beautiful lights. Some people travel miles and miles just to see incredible Christmas light displays. Plenty of homeowners make their own magic right outside the front door.
Whether you decide to go all out and set up an elaborate outdoor light display or you are keeping it simple with a bright and bulbous Christmas tree, it’s important to think about home safety.
There are many hazards that come with plugging so many light fixtures into your electrical system. Continue reading to learn all about how to keep yourself and your home safe during the holidays.
If you are in need of an electrician now, give our team at Randy’s Electric in Minneapolis, Minnesota a call at (612) 662-0123.
Christmas Tree Light Safety
While Christmas trees are beautiful to look at, they can pose fire and safety hazards if not properly taken care of. There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your Christmas tree is safe. Take a look at some indoor light safety tips:
- If you have a real tree, be sure to water it every day. If the tree gets too dry then it will become a fire hazard.
- If you have a fake tree, make sure that it is non-flammable. If it isn’t, then you may want to consider purchasing a non-flammable tree.
- Before you string the lights on your Christmas tree check for broken bulbs, frayed wires, broken cords and other issues. This will help you to avoid an electrical fire.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep close on hand in the case that you do have shorts, sparks or a fire.
- Turn off your indoor lights during the day or when you are not home to enjoy them.
- Purchase LED Christmas tree lights. These lights give off less heat and have a higher efficiency. If you are hoping to save money on your indoor decorations, LED lights will help with this.
When it comes to Christmas tree lights, if the thought even crosses your mind that you need to replace a string of lights, then you should replace that string of lights. Unfortunately, every year there are cases of Christmas trees catching on fire due to faulty electrical cords, wires, outlets and plugs.
Outdoor Holiday Light Safety
During the holiday season, homeowners put lights all over trees, shrubs, their home, the driveway and more. While these displays can be absolutely incredible, it’s important that homeowners are taking safety into consideration. Even if you only have one or two strings of lights, be sure to follow these outdoor holiday light safety tips:
- Use only ground fault outlets to avoid overloading any outlets. You should also utilize surge protectors where possible and ensure that all cords are taped down to avoid tripping hazards.
- Don’t use staples or nails to hang up your lights. Staples or nails could possibly penetrate the wires. Instead, use hooks, strong adhesive tape or plastic clips to attach your lights to your home.
- When attaching lights to your home, use only a wooden or fiberglass ladder. Aluminum ladders can worsen electrocution.
- Look for outdoor-specific lights. While it may seem that Christmas lights are all the same, some light strings are manufactured to be more durable than others. It’s important that your lights are resistant to moisture, sun and other environmental issues.
- Once Christmas is over, take down your lights as soon as you can. Christmas lights were not manufactured to stay up for long periods of time.
- Check that your outlets are GFCI rated. These outlets are manufactured to prevent short-circuiting, making them perfect for hanging up your holiday lights.
- Purchase a light timer or turn lights on only at night when you are home. Be sure to turn lights back off when you are sleeping.
No matter how elaborate your outdoor Christmas lights are, following proper recommendations will keep you safe. Not to mention that the better you treat your lights, the longer they will last through the years. Give your electrician a call if you have any more questions or concerns.
Other Holiday Electrical Safety Reminders
While indoor and outdoor lights are usually the biggest concerns when it comes to electrical safety, there are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Keep electrical decorations out of reach from children and pets. Some homeowners choose to gate off the area in their home where the Christmas tree is. Others purchase a smaller tree that they can place on top of a table or platform. If you don’t do either of these, be sure to supervise those around your indoor and outdoor lights. This will help keep your smaller loved ones and animals safe.
- Unplug lights when changing a bulb or doing other kinds of maintenance.
- Keep all decorations away from sources of heat such as fireplaces. Even electric fireplaces can cause fires if decorations are too close.
- Read manufacturer instructions before plugging in any holiday decoration. Some decorations are not supposed to be plugged into extension cords, so be sure to read closely.
However you decide to decorate your home this Christmas, be sure to do so safely and responsibly. Contact your electrician if you have any issues or require any help setting up your decorations.
Trustworthy Minneapolis Electrician
If you have been searching for a trustworthy electrician, look no further than Randy’s Electric in Minneapolis, MN. Our team of electricians are highly trained and ready to take on any electrical challenge. At Randy’s Electric, we provide home wiring, home safety services and other electrical services such as ceiling fan installations. From maintenance and repairs to installations and replacements, we have got your back.
If you need help setting up your holiday lights this year, give us a call, we would be happy to lend a hand. With over 18 years in the industry, Randy’s Electric is dedicated to providing superior customer service and high quality workmanship.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment with a technician at Randy’s Electric, give us a call at (612) 662-0123 or contact us online.