Now that we’re moving into the holiday season, it’s time to spread the cheer and in some cases, get into some friendly neighborhood competition with exterior decorating and holiday lighting. No matter if you are setting up a simple display or creating a winter wonderland, there is some safety involved in making it all work.
Use waterproof or water-resistant lights labeled with the underwriter’s lab tag (UL). These lights have met industry standards with the American National Standards Institute. And before installing your lights, make sure all the bulbs are working by plugging them in first. Nothing is worse than installing the lights only to find out that the “string” is NOT working. Secondly, make sure your holiday lights are rated for outdoor use. Do not use indoor lights outdoors. They are just not rated/built to withstand outdoor conditions.
Just like your selection of lights, make sure extension cords are rated for exterior use. Use outdoor quality/rated tape to fasten down cords across walkways. It can be a hazard to have cords across walking paths. Plus, it can be unsightly and detract from the display. Keep in mind to ensure that all connections (plugs) are above ground to avoid snow and water.
When installing lights or other decors in elevated areas like trees or roofs, make sure you are using a good ladder. Fasten your lights or displays with the proper “holders”. It is not wise to use nails or tacks as the metal in these can create issues with frayed or fraying wires. An outdoor timer can help with turning on and off your lighting display automatically. If a timer isn’t in your plans, please make sure to turn your lights off when you leave or go to bed at night.
With these basic guidelines, your final product will be a sight to see during this holiday season.