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7 Safety Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights

Decorated Christmas tree with festive ornaments, safely set up indoors for the holiday season.

Christmas lights offer us a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. Whether they are strung inside, in the trees in your yard, or around the exterior of the house, they can make your home look festive and bright. Christmas lights are certainly a mood lifter, but they aren’t without risk. About 770 fires are caused by Christmas lights every year. Below we have 7 safety tips for hanging your Christmas lights safely.

With a little preparation, you can reduce the chances of holiday disaster.

Replace Missing Bulbs

When you see strings with missing or broken bulbs, it’s important to replace the bulbs before you string them. Otherwise, they can lead to electrocution, fire, or injury. Most light packages come with replacement bulbs, but if you don’t have any, you can typically buy them online or at a home improvement store for just a few dollars.

Use a Safe Ladder

Don’t go all Christmas Vacation on us. If you decide to deck out the exterior of your home, make sure you do it with a tall ladder to reach those high up spots. But ladder safety doesn’t end there when it comes to Christmas lights. Metal ladders conduct electricity and can lead to electrical shock. Wood or fiberglass ladders offer a safer option when it comes to stringing lights.

Understand the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Lights

They may look the same, but indoor and outdoor lighting was tested for different uses. Indoor lights are tested to ensure they are not a fire hazard on your Christmas tree. Outdoor lights are tested to withstand the winter elements. Outdoor lights are hotter, so stringing them indoors or on a tree can pose a hazard.

Look for the UL Seal

The UL Seal means the lights have been third-party tested and meet the s safety standards of the American National Standards Institute.

Consider the Extension Cord

Make sure that the extension cord you use meets the standards for outdoor usage. Indoor cords aren’t made to withstand the Michigan cold.

Don’t Leave Them Up Too Long

Many of us are tempted to leave our lights up for a long time, but most Christmas lights aren’t meant to withstand long-term usage. The box might contain information on how long the lights are meant to be strung.

Don’t Overload the Outlet

If your outlet has far too many plugs, it could be a fire hazard. If you use a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet, it will shut down if there is too much current flowing through. This shutdown can prevent a fire.

Hire an Experienced Electrician

Christmas lights are beautiful and make the holidays more joyful. They can truly get us in the spirit for the holidays. But it’s important to hang them safely to prevent any electrical hazards or fires. If you are concerned about your home’s ability to handle your Christmas lighting, it’s time to have a qualified electrician look at your home’s wiring. Contact the experts at Haley Mechanical today for any electrical needs before the holiday!

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