With the holidays coming up, you might already be planning how to decorate. Decorations can make a home feel more welcoming and festive. You have so many opportunities to customize your decor, but whatever you do, remember to stay safe with your lighting.
Inspect Old Lights
If you’ve been using the same strings of lights for years, assess their quality before putting them up again. Over time, holiday lights can deteriorate, especially if they’re exposed to the elements. Plus, pests are known to get into attics, basements, and garages, which are all places that many people store their lights. Pests can chew through wiring and cause bulbs to break. When wiring is exposed or cords are damaged, you’re putting your family at risk. People could get shocked or sparks could fly. Damaged bulbs can also be harmful with their broken glass or plastic. When in doubt, go ahead and throw your old lights out.
Make Smart Decisions About New Lights
When you’re getting ready to invest in new lights, be strategic about your decisions. LEDs operate at much lower temperatures than incandescent bulbs, so they can be safer to handle. Incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy and they could melt certain materials in close proximity to them. The industry has moved away from incandescent bulbs for these reasons and a few others, and you probably should, too.
Make sure you’re purchasing outdoor-rated lights for any exterior use. Indoor lights are more vulnerable, and if it rains or snows, they could likely get damaged.
Spread Out the Load
Overloading a circuit can lead to unfortunate results. It can cause the breaker to trip, which can be an inconvenience. Further, it can make the associated outlets, wires, and electrical devices overheat. If excessive, that heat can ignite any flammable materials nearby, such as insulation, wood, decorations, or a Christmas tree. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your circuits are appropriately sized for the task at hand. Instead of plugging your holiday lights into the same circuit that a refrigerator or microwave is on, for example, spread things out. You might want to plan ahead and have an electrician make adjustments to your circuits so that you don’t overwork any particular part of your system.
Secure Lights With the Right Tools
When you’re securing lights to your home, be sure to do things the right way. Sharp items can damage cords and expose wires, thereby increasing the risk of electrical fires. Instead of taking a short cut and using something like nails or staples to hold your lights in place, use clips or hooks that were built with this purpose in mind. Take your time with this task. If your lights aren’t secured properly, they might slip or sag. They would then act as obstacles if they’re blocking doorways, windows, or sidewalks.
Enjoy the Season
When you take steps to protect your household, you can more thoroughly enjoy the holiday season. If you need any type of electrical lighting assistance in Rochester, MN, count on Paxton Electric being there for you, and call us today.