It’s that time of year again that we all love, the holidays! Trees are up, wreaths hung, and most importantly, Christmas lights! Lights are a staple in any holiday décor, just ask Clark Griswold. Here are some tips to follow in order to stay safe while putting lights up, and not end up like Clark.
1 – Use LED lights, not incandescent
While LED lights can be slightly more expensive, they are a much safer alternative to incandescent lights. Incandescent lights use a lot of energy and they have been known to cause fires if in close contact with flammable materials, like Christmas trees. LEDs on the other hand, use up to 75% less energy, don’t get hot enough to cause any fires and can last up to 25x longer! In the long run, LEDs are a better and safer investment to make your holidays more festive.
2 – Always check your lights
Over time, lights can become damaged. Whether it be broken bulbs, or frayed wires, using new lights is always the better option. Both broken bulbs and damaged or frayed wires can cause electric shock when plugged in, or even a fire. Checking your lights before you use them saves you time, frustration and allows you to make adjustments before and incident occurs.
3 – Avoid plugging too many strands of lights together
Outlets and extension cords can only handle so much electricity at a time. Plugging too many light strands together and then into an outlet can cause the electrical circuit to break and cause a power outage. A good rule of thumb is to only have three plugged in together at a time. However, if you want to find out exactly how many strands you can plug together at a time, the packaging of your lights will tell you how many watts of energy each strand uses. Use that information and the wattage of your outlets to see how many strands your outlets can handle.
4 – Don’t hang lights with nails or tacks
Hanging your lights with things like nails or tacks will ultimately ruin the wires. Anything that impales the wires can cause serious safety issues, like electrical shock. Instead, use either clips or hooks to safely hang your lights.
5 – Don’t leave lights on for extended periods of time, especially tree lights
Leaving lights on for an extended amount of time can cause them to heat up and dry Christmas trees and hot bulbs can create a problem. There are around 200 Christmas tree fires reported in the US every year. You can avoid this issue by watering your tree daily and turning off your lights when you leave or go to bed. There are also light timers you can purchase, to turn your lights on and off automatically. Using a light timer gives you one less thing to worry about during the holidays so you can focus on more important things.
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