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Stringing Holiday Lights with Safety

Holiday lights and decorations help make the most wonderful time of year even more memorable. Whether you’re hanging mistletoe above a doorway or decking the halls with festive baubles, safety must be a priority when decoration a home for the holidays.

Accidents can happen no matter what type of holiday decorating your doing, but string holiday lights around your home may be especially dangerous. This season, keep the following safety tips in mind when stringing lights so this season of celebration starts off safe and sound.

Work with at least one partner. Never go it alone when stringing holiday lights. Make sure someone is there to hold the ladder steady as you climb up and down. Partnering up when stringing holiday lights allows decorators to use both of their hands to climb up ladders instead of using one of their hands to carry lights. Once you reach a point where it’s safe to hang lights, have your partner hand you the lights. If possible, work in groups of three so someone can hold the ladder steady at all times.

Inspect your lights before hanging them. Lights are not built to last forever, and over time holiday lights can suffer damage that has the potential to be dangerous. Wires can fray, and sockets can crack or break, so a thorough inspection is wise. Replace any bulbs that pose a hazard, but remember to replace them with bulbs of equal wattage.

Use an extension cord of adequate length. Exterior holiday lights are often plugged into extension cords that extend to a shed or garage. Do not connect several extension cords to power holiday lights; instead, use just a single cord that’s lengthy enough to reach the outlet. Connecting extension cords is a fire hazard. In addition, make sure the amperage of the decorations matches the amperage rating of the extension cord, which can be found on the product label or on the manufacturer’s website. Also, make sure the extension cord is not plugged into any power source while you’re hanging the lights.’

Make sure the lights do not pose a safety hazard inside. Some people string holiday lights indoors as well. Lights might be hung on Christmas trees or along hallways or window sills. Such lights and cords connecting them to power sources should never pose safety hazards, so make sure they are not lying on the floor or loose enough for someone to trip over or get caught in them. Tack or tape lights to the wall and never place them under furniture or rugs; lights can overheat when placed under rugs.

Hang the correct lights. When stringing lights, make sure you hang lights designated as exterior lights on the outside of your home and interior lights for inside your home. Hanging lights in the wrong places poses a fire hazard and creates additional safety concerns, so adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Safety should be a the forefront when stringing holiday lights around the house. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

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