‘Tis the season, and with it comes the tradition of decorating houses with different holiday trimmings and ornaments. If you’re the type to deck the halls with all sorts of glimmering decors, then you’ve probably already experienced hanging Christmas lights around your home. However, handling these decorations requires extra care compared to other types, as they employ electrical power. Read on to learn a few tips on electrical safety for Christmas lights this season.
Don’t leave them unattended.
Make sure to turn off your Christmas lights when leaving the house or going to bed. Even if you have heavy-duty commercial lights that claim to be usable for hours on end, it’s still not advisable to keep them open. On the off chance that their circuits are damaged, they can catch fire with prolonged use. It’s best to play it safe and switch them off if you’re going to leave them unattended.
If you’re worried that you’ll forget to turn them off, you can always install a timer plug for Christmas lights. You can attach this device to the socket where you’ll plug your lights into and program it to automatically cut off the power after a set amount of time.
Avoid using old lights.
Some homeowners may use the same Christmas lights every year for the sake of tradition or nostalgia. However, this practice can actually be an electrocution or fire hazard. Christmas light wiring tends to break down with age. Typically, they will last anywhere from 4 to 7 years, depending on the type or quality of lighting that you have. Ones that have incandescent bulbs usually have shorter lifespans than those that use LEDs. If your lights are already past their recommended years of use, you should properly dispose of them and just buy new ones.
Inspect the wiring.
Before hanging your Christmas lights and plugging them in, you should do a thorough visual inspection of their wiring, especially if they have been in storage all year. The cables could have deteriorated with age or been damaged by rodents or even pets. Go through the entire length of each wire and check for frayed ends, cracks, and loose connections. You should also see if any bulbs are broken. Make sure to replace any damaged ones before using the lighting.
Reach out to Vintage Electric
Get in touch with Vintage Electric in Gainesville, FL for more tips on electrical safety for Christmas lights. We have experienced electricians that can address any concerns you may have with residential lighting systems.