For many, Christmas is a great time to turn a familiar-looking home into a magical winter wonderland. In fact, Americans spent more than $6 billion on Christmas decorations in 2011. And can you blame them? A home bedecked with festive tinsel, an impressive tree and strings of twinkling lights is a truly beautiful thing. It's important, though, to keep the Christmas lights safety tips in mind that will put your family's health first.
Unfortunately, electrical fires caused by decorative lighting are responsible for $9 million worth of property damage and nine deaths per year. We want you to have a happy and healthy holiday season. To keep your home safe, follow these 16 tips.
16 Christmas Lights Safety Tips
Before You Hang Your Holiday Lights
1. Choose an artificial tree over a real one, and make sure that the tree is certified as fire resistant.
2. Choose epoxy-lensed LED lights. These lights are cool to the touch and more durable than their glass counterparts.
3. Check all your lights for exposed wires, damaged plugs and other defects before you start decorating.
4. Check that all your lights are certified as safe for the location you want to use them in (i.e. internally or externally).
5. Dispose of any older electrical Christmas decorations ,as these might not meet modern safety standards.
While You're Decking the Halls
6. Make sure your ladder is safe and secure with all four legs on the ground.
7. Double check all fastenings when hanging lights on the exterior of your house to prevent any dangers associated with the lights falling.
8. Don’t hang any Christmas lights over anything which could cause a fire hazard, like a lampshade, an existing light or over the fireplace.
9. Don’t use candles. Of course, they look nice but the fire risk they pose cannot be underestimated.
10. Always use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. This acts as a circuit breaker and will prevent harmful and potentially lethal electric shocks in wet conditions.
11. Use insulated hooks to hang wires and lights on internal walls as metal screws and tacks can become electrified.
While Enjoying Your Christmas Lights
12. Always turn off all Christmas lights when you go to bed or when you leave your property. Even LED lights have the potential to cause a fire if left unattended.
13. Don’t let small children or pets pull at or play with your Christmas lights. Always keep an eye on your little ones.
14. Never “daisy chain” electrical extension cords by attaching multiple cords together. This can cause the extensions to overheat. Instead, simply invest in a longer extension cord.
15. Never plug more than three sets of Christmas lights into a single extension cord, as this can also cause problems with overheating.
16. Take extra care when packing your Christmas lights away. This means that you can use them safely and efficiently in years to come.
If you're worried you home has electrical issues, don't think twice. Give the experts at John C. Flood a call.
We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at John C. Flood. Don’t forget to share our Christmas lights safety tips with your family and friends!