Our Guide to Christmas Light Safety
Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year, and for most this holds true. However, it can also come with some higher risks for homeowners and apartment dwellers. Those risks are often tied to Christmas lights both indoors and out. Today, we’re sharing some important Christmas light safety tips to ensure that your holiday season is filled with happiness! Take a look at our list, check it twice, and make sure that your Christmas lights play nice – cause Santa Claus is coming to town.
Inspect before Rigging
It can be exciting to get the lights up on the house, especially if you have kids. However, like any electronic device, you should inspect it thoroughly before you install them. Make sure that none of the lights are blown or broken, check for any fraying and make sure there’s no discolouration of the wire. If you suspect anything, get rid of that strand. There’s no sense in taking a risk over a $10 line of lights.
Check for Recalled Lights
2015 was an especially bad year for Christmas lights with dozens of brands and light types being recalled. The recalls are all listed on the Canadian Recall website found here. Recalls can range from overheating to fires to inefficiencies, so it’s crucial you check to make sure your lights aren’t on the list.
Use Lights for their Intended Purpose
Indoor only lights should be for the tree only! Indoor lights aren’t capable of standing up to the cold and snow. As such, they often cause sparks and shocks through their limited wire coverings. That can blow fuses, cause shocks or at worst, start fires. Outdoor lights should also be taken down in January as they are generally designed for limited outdoor exposure and not year-round.
Set on a Timer or Get a Smart Plug
Turning out the lights isn’t just about saving money, it’s about being safe. Always remember to turn off the outdoor (and indoor) Christmas lights before you head to bed. Now if you enjoy a little Christmas cheer, set your lights on a timer or get a smart plug that you can set to a schedule.
Upgrade from Traditional Bulbs to LED
The cost of LED Christmas lights has dropped significantly over the last couple years, and they are now a better deal than traditional lights. So if you’re still holding onto those 1970s classic candle-like lights, retire them to the attic and get yourself a new set. Not only are they much safer (as they don’t warm), but they will save you money as well in electrical costs.
Keep Light Types Together
If you insist on using older light strands, don’t plug them into the same strand as a LED strand. Because LEDs require so much less electrical pull than incandescent bulbs, their cords may not be able to handle the draw that incandescent strands do. As such, put them on their own plug for your safety.
There are many other ways to stay safe when it comes to your Christmas lights, but these cover the basics. Overall, always use your best judgment. Finally, if in doubt, don’t take the risk.