Christmas is almost here, and if you’re like most Americans, you relish the opportunities to deck the halls every holiday season. However, it’s important to make sure while you are decorating your house that you do not accidentally put yourself or your family at risk. Keep reading to learn how to safely hang Christmas lights this holiday season, and remember that Carter Services is available for your home comfort needs year-round.
Top 5 Tips for Safely Putting Up Your Christmas Lights
- Don’t Overload Your Electrical System: We know that lots of homeowners like to make their house shine as brightly as possible during Christmastime, but if your lights start flickering or you’re using power strip on power strip, you may have gone too far. Remember, you definitely don’t want a Clark Griswold situation on your hands. Overloading your electrical system with Christmas lights could cause a power outage, or even an electrical fire, so try to resist competing with your neighbors, and err on the side of caution this holiday season. And if you do anticipate needing extra power, consider calling Carter Services for a quality backup power generator.
- Keep Extension Cords Out of the Way: Going off the last point,sticking to limited power strip and surge protector use is important, but it is equally important in many ways that you do not let your extension cords get messy and tangled up. Misplaced extension cords can be a tripping hazard, and even cause accidental sparking if they are pulled out suddenly. When you finish hanging your outside lights this year, put your extension cords out of the way—after all, no amount of Christmas lights is worth a trip to the emergency room.
- Only Use GFCI Outlets for Outside Lights: All modern homes should have what are known as GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in the garage. It is extremely important that you use these outlets when hanging up your outdoor Christmas lights, as they are specifically designed to protect your house from too much current. Without GFCI outlets, our exterior lights run the risk of overloading your circuit panel and causing an outage. GFCI outlets look similar to regular outlets, they just have the two buttons in the middle. Check to see if you have this type of outlet in your garage, and if you don’t, give our professional outlet installers at Carter Services a call.
- Make Sure You Have Waterproof Lights: Most Christmas lights these days are waterproof, though some of the older models are not. Keep in mind, there is an important difference between outdoor lights and indoor lights. Check to see what kind you have before hanging them up this holiday season, and never use indoor lights outdoors, as they may not be waterproof, and can therefore be a hazard when used outdoors.
- Position Decorations Away from Air Vents: When you put your Christmas tree or other decorations too close to your vents or registers, you will end up blocking the flow of air from your heating system. When the air has nowhere to go, it can end up damaging your ductwork, and causing an unsafe level of pressure to build up in your system. Your HVAC equipment may already be functioning at maximum capacity this winter depending on the climate you live in, so for the sake of your electrical system, HVAC unit, and your entire property, your air vents should never be obstructed.