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Electrical Safety: Christmas Lights Edition

Dec 10, 2015
Christmas Lights Electrical Advice | Nelson Comfort

The holiday season is here, and Cincinnati homeowners are decking the halls with lights! Whether you’re decorating indoors for a holiday gathering or competing against your neighbors to create the best outdoor lighting display, make safety a priority this season.

Tips for decorating inside and outside safely

• Before hanging lights, inspect every strand and decoration carefully. Examine cords for exposed wiring, damaged plugs, broken bulbs, and other defects. Do not use electrical decorations or strands of lights which are damaged.
• When replacing bulbs, unplug the strand first. Only use replacement bulbs that are the appropriate type and rating for the strand.
• Always turn off lights and other electrical decorations before going to sleep or leaving the home.
• When hanging lights, make sure the method you are using will not damage the wiring insulation. This can happen easily when stapling, nailing, or tacking. Instead, use insulated hooks.
• Do not overload outlets by operating multiple decorations in addition to your electrical devices, as this can cause overheating, creating a fire risk.
• Make sure all plugs are inserted entirely into the outlet and fit snugly to avoid potential overheating or electrical shock.
Safety tips for indoor holiday lights
• Check to see that your lighting cords will not be pinched under furniture or in doors, which could damage wiring insulation.
• It’s best to plug lights directly into an outlet versus using an extension cord. An electrician can assist you with installing new outlets in convenient locations.
• Never run cords under carpeting or rugs, as this can cause the cord to overheat.
• Do not hang lights on metallic Christmas trees, as faulty lighting can charge the tree, creating shock and fire risks.

Safety tips for outdoor holiday lights

• When decorating your home’s exterior, only use lights approved for outdoor use, which will have stronger insulation to withstand winter weather.
• Always plug outdoor decorations into GFCI outlets.
• Limit your use of extension cords by planning your lighting display to coordinate with the location of your exterior outlets. Additional exterior outlets can be installed by an electrician if needed.
• Only use extension cords which are rated for outdoor use and that are designed to carry the required electrical load. Take care to keep connections off the ground to avoid snow, moisture, or dirt from getting into the plug.

For assistance properly powering your holiday light display, contact Nelson Comfort today!

About The Author

Dan Detmer
Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!
Posted in Electrical

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