How To Hang Outdoor Holiday Lights Safely

By Bonnie Mauldin,

  Filed under: Safety Tips, Uncategorized
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The Joy of Outdoor Holiday Lights

It’s two days after Halloween—which means everyone is forgetting Thanksgiving even exists and are preparing to set up their outdoor holiday lights. Some people go all out for their Holiday decorations.

 

Like . . . really all out.

 

Seriously guys who has time for this?

It makes sense why people love outdoor holiday lights. Besides, of course, giving us a reason to compete with each other. Winter lights represent a sense of hope in the darkness and have become an essential part of most winter traditions. But it’s important to remember how to hang holiday lights safely.

More than 86% of Americans decorate their homes as part of their winter holiday celebrations.  Almost two-thirds of respondents use electric lights in their indoor decorating scheme, while more than half use lighted decorations outside their homes.  More than 60% of those who decorate their homes for the holiday utilize at least one extension cord.

While holiday lighting and electrical decorations do contribute to the splendor of the season, they can also significantly increase the risk fires and electrical injuries if not used safely.  Given these hazards, it is crucial that safety is a foremost concern. Therefore, we’ve come up with an extensive list of how to hang holiday lights safely.

Outdoor Holiday Lights

  • Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used for outdoor decorating are marked for outdoor use.
  • Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with amperage rating of extension cords.
  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).  If circuits are not GFCI-protected, portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold and require no special knowledge or equipment to install.
  • Inspect all lights, decorations, and extension cords for damage before using.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house, or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage, but take care not to attach the lights in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
  • Make sure spotlights used to illuminate decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather, and a safe distance from flammable items.
  • Inspect ladders for loose or missing screws, hinges, bolts, and nuts before using.
  • Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors.  Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Use the right ladder height, ensuring ladders extend at least three feet past the edge of the roof.
  • Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

Learning how to hang outdoor holiday lights is imperative. However, if the worst should happen, Reliable Restoration has the equipment and expertise to handle all fire damages. With the proper equipment we will assess the extent of your fire damage and then work tirelessly and efficiently to make sure your home is fully recovered and safe to return to. Remember we are available 24/7/365 for your needs. After all, with Reliable Restoration, your family is our family.