Just about everyone loves the look of Christmas lights. Installing them, on the other hand, is not always as simple as it looks.
The frustration that comes with a tangled web of lights, extension cords and outlets can cause some homeowners to resort to unsafe practices in an effort to just “get the lights on”.
However, as many fire departments and power companies can attest, what seems like an innocent bundle of wires and lights can be a serious fire hazard as well as an unnecessary stress on your home’s electrical system.
TO ENSURE YOUR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE BOTH BEAUTIFUL AND SAFE:
- Plug your lights into a surge protector to prevent power overload.
- Check the amp rating on your extension cord to make sure it can handle the appliance you plug into it. If the extension cord has a lower amp rating than the appliance, it will overheat.
- Do not cluster Christmas lights in bunches. Doing so creates excessive heat that can melt wire coating and expose live wires. Frayed wires that come into contact with a metal ornament or hook are a shock hazard.
- Inspect your cords and plugs for damage and replace as needed.
- If you are installing Christmas lights outside, make sure you use outdoor Christmas lights. The package will tell you if the lights are okay for use indoors, outdoors, or both.
- When you leave or go to bed, turn off your Christmas lights.