5. Safely Connect Outdoor Lights
All outdoor lights should be plugged into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. This outlet is designed to break the circuit when there’s an imbalance of incoming and outgoing currents, or an unintended flow is detected. If you don’t have any GFCIs, get a certified electrician to perform the install.
Ensure all lights and outlets are in safe locations. You want to avoid wet areas vulnerable to water or ice. Keep lights and wires away from walkways or driveways to avoid tripping hazards.
Ensure that your outdoor lights are secure. Using insulated staples (not nails or tack) will securely hold your lights and protect them from wind damage.
When stringing your lights, please look out for power lines. They can turn your latter into a shocking hazard.
6. Unplug Lights Before Bed or Leaving Home
Not only are you running up your electric bill, but you’re putting your home at risk of a fire. The lights can overheat, short out and catch fire to your tree or decorations.
Don’t use water if a fire occurs. Water and electricity aren’t the best of friends. Small fires are best dealt with by shutting off the circuit, smothering it, or using a fire extinguisher. For severe fires, evacuate and call 911.
7. Don’t Overload Outlets
Overloading your outlet can result in a fire. Plugging in too many lights and decorations will draw too much power, causing the outlet to overheat and catch fire. The packaging should display how much power your lights use.
This rule goes for extension cords, as well. Don’t use more than three standard-size sets of lights per extension cord. Also, don’t cover your extension cords with a rug; this can cause a fire.
8. Call A Licensed Electrical Contractor For Electrical Work
Don’t do the work on your own. If you’re experiencing a complicated electrical situation, hire a licensed electrical contractor. They’ll inspect, assess, maintain and make any installs you may need to ensure a safe and joyous holiday.