Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Year, your home deserves to be decked with festive tinsel. How lovely it is to look at the strings of twinkling lights and wonder about the good things in life? Until the crystal bell crashes or there is a sudden short circuit. So, when you prepare your home for the festive season, do not forget about these holiday light safety tips.
1. Choose the correct lights
Cherishing an heirloom is good but remember holiday lights are not forever! The older they get; they will lack in safety features. Often, they fail to meet the current safety standards. Discard broken or loose sockets and cracked electrical cords. Instead, look for LED lights which are energy-efficient and emit less heat.
2. Check the old lights before you put them up
With small children and pets at home, you cannot ignore some crucial holiday light safety tips. So, if you are planning to use the lights from last year, do a test run before you actually put them up. After you are satisfied with visual inspection, plug each light to see if they are in proper working conditions.
3. Do not mix indoor and outdoor lights
A few holiday lights can be used for both indoors and outdoors. But some lights are location specific. Holiday lights meant for indoors are not resistant to moisture and may get easily damaged in wet weather.
Lights which are tested for safety get a UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) tag. Indoor lights will have a green UL tag, while outdoor lights have a red UL tag. Check the tags before you install the lights to avoid unnecessary fire hazards.
4. Unplug your electrical holiday decorations
Before going to sleep or leaving home, do not forget to unplug your holiday lights, especially those attached to a Christmas tree. Make sure that all decorations and holiday lights are plugged off. If you are going away for a family vacation, ask one of your neighbors to check on your house.
5. Keep your Christmas tree hydrated
The greener the tree, the better. With a natural Christmas tree, keep your tree hydrated and top off the water tray every day. Choose a fresh cut tree because a dry tree is more prone to accidental fire.
6. Clean your walkways
Plan your outdoor lights in such a way to avoid running cords in sidewalks and doorways which are normally frequented by people. Put your cords and decorations in low-traffic areas and keep your walkways clean. Prevent tripping by keeping them away so that they cannot be walked on.
7. Never overload your extension cords or sockets
While we are on the list of holiday light safety tips, let’s not make the mistake of overloading the sockets. Even when you are using an extension plug, do not overload it. Check the wattage and in no way, it should exceed total electricity consumption.
8. Keep your plugs safe
While using extension cord plugs, be careful to choose a fire-resistant one. To keep them dry, take a resealable bag and cut holes in both corners in the bottom. Now insert the cord inside the bag and connect the plugs. Roll the bag around the cords and secure them with a vinyl tape. This way, you can save the cords from moisture and snow.
9. Check your smoke alarms
With a holiday lighting safety checklist in place, do not forget to inspect your smoke alarms. If you do not have smoke alarms, install one before the festive season. You cannot predict an accident, so at least be prepared for one. Install smoke alarms both in living areas and bedrooms which are prone to accidents.
10. Store your lights smartly
Although you want your holiday lights to shine on forever, it is best to take them down once the celebrations are over. After New Year, as you wrap up, take down the lights and store them carefully. If you have lots of lights, label them and secure them in separate containers. Put them in fire-resistant boxes to keep them undamaged.
11. Ensure your fireplace is cleaned
Fireplaces are in use during the chilly season. Keep the fireplaces clean to ensure that they are open. Remove all such stuff like branches, leaves, and paper which easily catch fire and cause property damage.
12. Keep an eye on your little ones
One thumb rule about holiday decorations; the more precious the ornament, the higher it should be on a Christmas tree. This is more essential if you have kids and pets at home. Always place all glass and breakable ornaments on top of the tree and secure them tightly.
When you are decorating the tree or home, your kids can always help, but keep them away from electrical equipment. Remember decorating a tree can be a cherished holiday tradition, but they also cause major accidents during Holiday season. Try hanging lights on a tall tree without a proper ladder or stepstool and you may suffer a nasty fall.
Time to call the professionals who know exactly what you need to make your home shine bright during the holiday season!