Checklist for Lighting Christmas Lights
Yes, that time of the year has almost arrived when you see rein deers, stockings, fruitcakes, gift boxes, pine trees, people dressed as Santa Claus, and, of course, the Christmas lights!
Checklist for Lighting Christmas Lights:
As the month of December rolls around, you get to see strands of these lights, glowing from afar, and making everything luminous around them – the Christmas trees, the houses, the bushes, the shrubs and even the cars! They are one of the commonly used festive items that are hung from chimneys and roof eaves for decorating the houses in the Christmas season. They remind us of lush velvet nights and satin skies beaming with twinkling stars. An evergreen holiday tree studded with lighted colors, adds a touch of warmth to a cold snowy Christmas evening.
Using them for adorning your house at Christmas has many pros as given below.
- They illuminate and brighten up the surroundings.
- They come in all varieties, shapes, sizes and colors.
- They are light and easy to hang anywhere.
- They build up less heat.
- They are safer than candles and lamp lighting.
Remember, though, that they also have some cons as given below.
- They use up so much power and lead to a huge electricity bill.
- They become so hot that they can ignite or burn the nearby decorative objects.
- Their cords can lead to a short circuit.
- They require the use of a ladder which can lead to injuries if used improperly.
These were just some of the pros and cons that come to mind; more can be listed in each category. But after reading the above pros and cons of using Christmas lights, it is upto you to decide whether you intend to go ahead or not. If you still wish to light up your house with these decorative pieces, then this article could be of great help to you as it lists some points to safely use Christmas lights for jazzing up your ambience. So go ahead and read.
Life-saving Lessons to Light the Living Rooms and Lawns
To avoid shocks and shorts, here are some suggestions for safety.
- If you are planning to use the sets of the previous year then remember that after sitting in your attic or basement for a year, they are probably not in their best condition. Some of them will become loose and some others burnt out. Even some of the cords will be tangled in a sailor’s knot. In such a case, you need to check them in advance so that if you find any fault in them, you will still have time in your hands to get a new set before it is too late. If you check at the last moment, you will not have enough time to properly decorate your house.
- Choose the Christmas lights and bulbs that have been tested and proved to be safe by a recognized and reputable testing laboratory, such as CSA, CE, UL or ETL.
- Consider using LED light sets.
- Use the modern, mini-sized, cooler-burning lights instead of using the traditional, large-sized bulbs.
- Buy the sets according to your requirements – indoor ones for indoors, outdoor ones for outdoors, and switch hitters for both the purposes.
- Pick the ones that have fuses in the plugs.
- Inspect each set of these lights for damaged pieces. Return or throw away any set that has broken bulbs, cracked sockets, bare or frayed wires, or loose connections.
- Get the help of an electrician for installation if you are not well aware of the electrical concepts and safety guidelines.
- Read and follow the instructions of the manufacturer while installing the light sets.
- Use the suitable sets for indoors and outdoors.
- Set the lighting away from feeder lines or power lines (these lines go from the pole to the house).
- Hang them on an evergreen tree so that it does not catch fire easily.
- Do not hang them on any metallic surface; even the metal trees.
- Never let any of the bulbs touch any combustible object such as pine leaves, grass and plastic pieces.
- Attach the strings of light tightly to firm supports or house walls so as to avoid them from getting damaged due to winds.
- Connect only two or three strings of light, at the max, with each other.
- Wrap an electrical tape around the plug connection in order to connect the strings of light.
- Secure the outer side lights with insulated holders instead of securing with nails, screws, tacks or metal staples. You can also run the strings of light through hooks.
- Use approved clips to fasten the light sets along eaves so that they do not come in contact with the combustible building materials such as the roof shingles.
- Elevate the plugs and connectors using a brick when running the extension cords along the ground so as to keep water, snow, and debris out of the connections.
- Tape down the ground-level strings and wires if they are crossing the walkways in order to prevent people from tripping and falling because of them.
- Plug all the outdoor electrical decorations into a GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupter.
- Use one extension cord for not more than three standard-sized sets of lights.
- Do not overload extension cords.
- Unplug the extension cords if they become hot.
- Plug the sets for about 10 to 12 minutes to make sure that they do not smoke or melt.
- Never pull on the strings of lights.
- Never hang any objects from the light sets.
- Replace the burnt out bulbs immediately with bulbs that have the same wattage.
- Do pull the plugs and turn off the lights when you go to bed at night, or leave the area for a while.
A dwelling lit up with Christmas lights is a beautiful sight to behold. But it can get ugly if done carelessly. Save yourself and others from becoming a holiday fire casualty by paying heed to the above safety tips, to enjoy a Merry Christmas!