The time of the season has arrived for you to dust off the old Christmas lights, trudge up the trusty ladder, and spend all day wrestling with tangled cords and dead bulbs. Yet, before you do that, you should take a moment to understand the risks involved and the steps needed to properly install the lights to ensure a safe and injury-free holiday season.
The two biggest risks involved with hanging lights around your house include the risk of injuring yourself while installing and the risk from the lights themselves. In fact, hanging lights has led to more than 15,000 injuries resulting in emergency visits, according to the CPSC. Fall injuries resulted in 34 percent of those visits. Additionally, Christmas lights cause more than 40 percent of Christmas tree fires, according to the NFPA. As you can see, the spirit of Christmas does little to mitigate the real life dangers associated with holiday lighting.
With that, here are a few safety tips that you should follow this holiday season.
Replace Old And Damaged Lights
This tip could be added to a list of common sense practices. If it’s broke, fix it. Go through your collection of lights and check for cracked or frayed cords, wires poking out, or sockets without bulbs. Damaged lights can lead to electrical surges that result in electrical fires. If you see cords or lights that appear to be damage, either replace the lights or purchase an entirely new set. Lights are cheap to replace. Houses and lives are not.
Keep You Christmas Tree Hydrated
This tip is not meant to ensure the health and longevity of your tree, which is important, of course, but it helps offset the potential harm that a dry tree can cause when combined with damaged or overheated lights. Make sure that you check the tree’s water supply each day. You can also forgo a real tree and use an artificial tree instead. Most of those fake trees come with built-in LED lighting.
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Don’t Run Lights Through Windows or Doors
Do not run Christmas lights or extension cords through windows or doors. This can cause the wires to break or become frayed from constant pressure, which makes the lights a safety hazard for shocks or electric fires. If you need a power source, look into solar-powered lights. There are an abundance of cheap options out there. Depending on where you live, your lights can potential stay on all night with no cost to you.
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