Is holiday decorating one of your favorite parts of the holiday season? If so, you’re not alone! For many, getting into the seasonal spirit means putting up bright, beautiful lights and decorations. While this is an exciting part of celebrating the holidays, it’s important to remember some simple holiday light safety tips so you can celebrate with your loved ones without injury.
- Plan your design before you start hanging lights around your home. This will allow you to create a beautiful, cohesive design and, more importantly, it will enable you to map out where all of the electrical outlets are, what areas will be safest to hang lights from, and which parts of your perimeter you should steer clear.
- Make sure you have the right lights before you hang them. Look for a “UL” or “ETL” stamp on the packaging; this indicates that the lights have been certified safe by experts. If your strands have large bulbs, consider switching to strands that have smaller lights. Check your old lights for damage to the cord or frayed cords, as they can be a huge fire hazard. And whatever strands you use, be sure to look for a fuse at the end of the light plugs.
- Don’t use indoor lights outside. Outdoor lights are specially made to withstand outdoor conditions, so using the wrong type of strand outside can spell trouble. Outdoor lights are marked as such on the packaging.
- Don’t be shy about using extension cords. They are an indispensable part of holiday decorating, particularly if you’re doing anything outside. Just be sure not to overload them –that is, make sure not to plug too many things in one extension cord, as they do have a tendency to overheat when loaded past capacity.
- Be sure to steer clear of tacks or nails when hanging your lights outside, as they can puncture or damage the cords and create a potential hazard. Use insulated holders instead, which are specifically created for outdoor hanging jobs.
- Once the lights are hung and looking fabulous, be mindful of maintenance. Check strands and extension cords regularly, replace or take down damaged or burnt out lights promptly, and save on energy by turning off your lights when you are not home or before going to bed.
- Utilize a timer to ensure that your lights don’t stay on any longer than necessary. This simple investment can result in energy savings for years to come!
Need some decor tips for your home? When designing your display, consider things like:
- Where will the eye go first? Choose a focal point or centerpiece for your display and start there. Not sure what that will be? Perhaps a structural feature in your home or a tree in your front yard. Remember to use ladders safely when hanging lights, and get creative with your centerpiece.
- How many lights will I need? Consider sticking to the norm — 100 lights per 1 1/2 feet, and remember not to overload circuits. Evenly placed lights mean a clean, beautiful look, but they also mean properly loaded extension cords. Measuring the outside of your home is a great place to start.
- What elements will make my display stand out? To make your display pop, consider incorporating special lighting elements such as animated lighting and glitter spheres. For easy shrubbery or bush coverage, net lighting is an interesting and convenient alternative to single lighting strands. Whatever you decide, be sure to use waterproof lighting to prevent hazards.
Cirro Energy wants you to decorate and celebrate with your loved ones this holiday season, without worrying about your electrical plan. That’s why we offer budget-friendly plans for every family need. Check out our online community on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about our low-cost electrical plans at the Cirro Energy website.