With the holidays rapidly approaching, you might be thinking about putting up your outdoor lights and decorations. It is important that you do this safely, though, because the last thing you want to do is cause an electrical short or worse. Since outdoor holiday decorations only go up once a year, it's easy to forget about some of the basic safety considerations. Whether this is your first year putting decorations outside at your home or you just need a refresher on the safety guidelines, here's a look at some important safety tips.
Make Sure They Are Outdoor
Holiday lights are rated for either indoor or outdoor use. One common mistake that homeowners make is putting up indoor-use-only lights outside. Doing this can lead to an electrical short and potentially a fire. Always check the tag on your lights and decorations or the box they came in to be sure that they are rated for outdoor use before you put them up.
Limit The Length
Although the older lights were often limited to three or four strands connected together on a single outlet, some newer LED lights may allow for more than that. Make sure that you read the packaging carefully and don't connect more light strands together than is safely recommended by the manufacturer. If you find that you don't have enough outlets for all of the lights that you're trying to put up, call a local electrician to install a few extra outdoor outlets.
Use Extension Cords Wisely
It's nearly inevitable that putting up outdoor decorations will require you to use an extension cord or two. The key is to make sure that you're using them safely and correctly. Make sure that any extension cord you use is rated for outdoor use. Also, you should never connect extension cords together. Connecting them can be dangerous if you get snow or moisture between the plugs. Invest in longer cords if necessary to ensure that you can reach where you need to be.
Decorating for the holidays should be a fun and festive process. It shouldn't lead to electrical disasters in your home. With the tips presented here, you can safely show your holiday spirit without risking the safety of your home or its electrical grid. For more tips or expert assessment before you put your lights up, call a local electrician, like Skyline Electric, Inc., who can come out and evaluate your home and the light placement.