The twinkle of holiday lights is something that brings much joy to both children and adults alike. At the same time, while these lights and other decorations are beautiful and are the source of a great deal of excitement, they can also be a source of danger if they are not installed and maintained properly. To ensure that your holiday season is bright, but does not endanger you or the ones you love, be sure to keep these 5 tips in mind.
Tip #1: Inspect Lights Thoroughly
Before you hang your lights, make certain they are not frayed, cracked or damaged in any way. Also, inspect the sockets to ensure they are not broken. If you find anything wrong with the cord or socket, discard the lights and purchase new ones, as damaged holiday lights pose a significant fire risk. Similarly, burned out bulbs should be replaced in order to prevent overheating the entire string.
Tip #2: Follow the Manufacturerís Instructions
Following the manufacturerís instructions is an important step toward preventing accidental fire. In general, you should not string more than three strands of lights together, but some lights may not even be able to handle this load. So, be sure to read the instructions in order to ensure you do not overload the lights. Similarly, if the lights say they are for indoor use only, do not use them outside because they will not be able to withstand the outdoor elements. Furthermore, outdoor lights should not be used inside, as they are too hot for interior use.
Tip #3: Use Care When Hanging Lights
If you are hanging lights somewhere that requires the use of a ladder, make certain the one you have selected is appropriate for the job. Furthermore, never use nails or staples when hanging lights, as these can puncture the wire and create a fire risk. Rather, use plastic hangers or insulated tape for the job.
Tip #4: Use Your Lights with Care
In order to prevent accidental fire, you should turn your lights off whenever you go to sleep or leave your home. In addition, if you have lights placed on a real Christmas tree, make sure you keep the tree well-watered, as dry trees are more likely to catch on fire than fake trees or real trees that are well-maintained.
Tip #5: Store Your Lights Safely
To avoid damage from weather and curious animals, light should not be left up for more than 90 days. After you take them down, coil each one around a piece of cardboard and wrap it in fabric or paper and place it in a sturdy container in order to keep the bulbs protected.
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Jolenta Averill, Principal
Lake & City Homes Realty