Now that Thanksgiving is over and you moved your belt notch over once (or twice!), it’s time to get ready for the beautiful and festive holiday season. Hanging holiday lights is something that almost every homeowner does, and something that a surprising number of homeowners do with little to no safety precautions. Here are some quick and easy safety tips for hanging up your holiday lights.
Read the Directions
It may sound silly, but read the directions and warnings enclosed with your holiday lights before starting the process. Are they indoor or outdoor lights? Obviously, if the lights are only intended for indoor use you shouldn’t be hanging them outdoors. Always follow the directions that the manufacturer gives for installation. As a rule of thumb, never put more than three standard strings of lights together in a row.
Take Time to Inspect Your Holiday Lights Beforehand
Again, it may sound a little overly cautious but inspect the lights beforehand. Examine each string for any cracked, broken lights or damaged wires. If there are any wiring issues, properly dispose of the lights and purchase new ones—don’t worry, there are plenty of holiday light sales going on right now.
Next, plug the lights in to make sure that all of the bulbs are working. If there are bulbs that aren’t lighting up, try slowly pushing them in to see if they are seated properly. If the bulbs are completely burnt out, mark them with a permanent marker and replace them once you’ve inspected the strand.
You’ve Got the Power—Or Do You?
Make sure that you have the proper power equipment to light up the night with your holiday lights. Are your holiday lights going indoors? Use a surge protector designed for lights if possible, and make sure not to overload the circuit. Make sure that you do not run the surge protector or holiday light cords underneath any rugs or places that get foot traffic. If you are hanging up lights outdoors, plug them into outlets that have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection to make sure that you don’t run the risk of shocking yourself, literally.
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