Six Safety Tips for Christmas Lights

Tis the season for excessive light bills. Americans across the United States have decked the halls with strings of blinking lights, flimsy glass decorations, and electric fireplaces. Even worse is the added traditions in some families of candles and wood-burning fireplaces, but we won’t go there in today’s post. Unfortunately, this decorative cheer adds to the electrical hazards. You must practice safety with your Christmas lights to avoid a call to an electrician or an electrical fire.

Let’s not forget if you have children or pets, your risk of electrical complications goes up even higher due to tripping over wires, biting through wires, or sticking objects into outlets that should not be meeting electrical plugs. How can you keep your family safe during the holidays? Follow these six safety tips of Christmas lights and avoid an expensive call to an electrician or the fire department.

Electric Fireplaces

Although this is not a Christmas light issue per se, many people like to add to the ambiance of Christmas by having an electric fireplace. The look and feel of these fireplaces no longer feel “fake,” which adds to their attraction. Unfortunately, with too many other lights, the Christmas lights, and an electric fireplace all on the same circuit breaker, you increase your risk of tripping your breaker. Once you trip the breaker, you will need an electrician to switch it out with a new one. After the initial overload of electricity, your breaker will be extra sensitive and begin tripping on only one light. A better solution is to have an electrical line ran for your electric fireplace and hooked up to its own circuit breaker.

Extension Cords

Don’t double up on extension cords when hanging your Christmas lights. The more cords you plug together, the higher your risk of a fire. Likewise, get a suitable surge protector to use for your Christmas light cords. The surge protector will keep your Christmas lights safe during electrical power surges.

Outdoor Christmas Lighting

When setting up your outdoor Christmas lights, use outdoor-rated extension cords and decorations. Additionally, cover any connections between wires with plastic or elevate connections off the ground with bricks to keep water and debris out of the connections. It is essential to keep any water or snow out of the connections to avoid shorts or shocks when you touch the wiring.

Unplug Christmas Lights if Hot

If the outlet is hot, your Christmas lights need to be unplugged. It is not safe to keep using the same Christmas lighting plugin pattern as it will heat up again. There may be a short in a wire or too many plugs in one outlet. Letting it cool down before you re-plug it in will keep it cooler for a few minutes. However, you will find yourself in the same position in time.

Hanging Christmas Lights

It is not safe to fasten lights with nails, staples, screws, or tacks. These objects can pierce the wires and could cause a hazard, a short circuit, or even electrocution or fire. Similarly, when hanging Christmas lights, use insulated hooks to attach the lights to your home.

Turn Off Christmas Lights

Before going to bed or leaving your home, unplug your Christmas lights. Don’t’ risk your Christmas lights overheating and causing a fire. Even if you use LED Christmas lights, it is still better to be safe and turn your Christmas lights off when you are not going to be able to watch for signs of fire or other issues.

Contact The Electrical Pros Now

Contact an electrician if you need to run a new electrical line for an electric fireplace. Also, if you made the mistake of plugging too many electrical plugs into one circuit breaker and have a tripped breaker, you need an electrician. Before you attempt a DIY electrical project, contact an expert.

An experienced electrician can guide you through the process of diagnosing the reason behind your electrical problem and help you fix your problem. To speak to an electrician, contact The Electric Pros today. We are an experienced industry leader. To get started with a The Electric Pros, check us out online or call us at (844) 249-4733.