The holidays are just around the corner, and maybe you’re one of those folks who love to put up lights and share the holiday spirit.
If so, good for you! Goodness knows, we could do with some colorful celebrations after the year we’ve all had, and beautiful Christmas lights bring something truly special to the neighborhood.
We’ve all seen the movies of Christmas light catastrophes, so we thought we’d list a few mistakes to avoid with decorations to stay safe and keep your home in one piece.
- Turn off – Yes, you may have spent hours putting up your lights, but there is also a time to turn them off especially if you leave the house during the evening. Please, don’t let them burn while you’re out or you may find the home is not there when you return.
- Unplug at bedtime – Never go to bed with the lights still shining or flashing on your tree. It’s a fire hazard.
- Dangerous cocktail – Metal trees and lights don’t mix as there is a risk of electrocution. Don’t risk it.
- Burning issue – Make sure your tree is not too close to a fireplace or any candles that you might light as part of your celebrations. This is true for real trees and plastic ones!
- Be cautious – Double check the quality of lights before a purchase. Avoid those on discount, and perhaps think twice about buying them online unless its from a reputable electrical retailer. Make sure the box cites compliance with electrical standards. Also, use indoor and outdoor lights for the purpose for which they were designed: that means, they’re not interchangeable.
- Check cords – The electrical cords of lights can lose their plastic coating and expose live wires no matter how carefully you packed them away. So, always check the state of the cables before placing them on your tree and turning them on.
- Replace bulbs – Any missing or dead bulbs in a string of lights should be replaced without exception for safety reasons.
- Tape it – Always tape your lights to walls and eaves. Tacks, staples and nails hold the potential for electrocution.
- Don’t overload – It’s easy to get carried away with power boards and extension cords, but be sensible. Don’t run power to outside lights via an extension cord that goes through an open window or door. The shutting of either might break the cable and create a potential disaster.
image courtesy of artifshall