For some of us, outdoor holiday decorating starts as soon as November rolls in, while others would rather hold off until the beginning of December. Regardless of when you start, what’s critical is that you go about it safely. In this blog, the team at Green Collar Landscaping shares some tips for properly installing and maintaining your outdoor holiday lights.
Tip #1: Replace Older or Broken Lights
As you take the lights out of storage, inspect them to make sure that they’re still in good shape. Look for cracked or fraying cords, sockets without bulbs, and wires poking through the casing. Throw out and replace any damaged light strings to reduce the possibility of electric shock during installation or, even worse, a fire.
Tip #2: Use LED Lights
If you’re planning to buy new lights, consider LEDs. Not only are they cooler to the touch compared to other holiday lights, but they also use less electricity. Since most Christmas tree fires are caused by overheated lights, switching to LED lights could prevent your trees from catching fire. They will also last longer than traditional lights.
Tip #3: Use Lights Labeled for Outdoor Use
Christmas lights are labeled based on their intended use, so you will see disclaimers like “for indoor use only” or “for indoor and outdoor use.” Take time to read this carefully since indoor-only Christmas lights cannot be used outside.
Outdoor lights are insulated, but indoor lights aren’t. They won’t work with moisture from the outdoors. If indoor lights are exposed to water, snow, or any other outdoor element, they could become hazardous, so read all labels carefully.
Tip #4: Use Light Clips
Don’t use nails or screws to secure outdoor holiday lights on your roof as they can puncture the wires, causing them to malfunction or, worse, present a shock hazard to the person installing them. Instead, use light clips sold at any hardware store. Clips are safer for holiday lights, and will cause less damage to your roof than nails or screws.
Tip #5: Use a GFCI Outlet
With outdoor lights, you should use a special type of outlet called a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Acting as a circuit breaker, it prevents shock from electrical systems exposed to wet conditions, like snow or rain.
Holiday Lights and a Beautiful Winterscape Go Together
Understanding how to correctly install and maintain your holiday lights could save you money on your power bills, prevent you or a loved one from getting an electric shock, and minimize the risk of a fire. These tips can help everyone stay safer this holiday season!
Let Green Collar Landscaping help you improve safety levels by clearing snow and ice, de-icing walking surfaces, and piling snow according to a strategic safety plan. We’re ready to act at the first sign of snow, so you can always count on a timely response. For more information or to receive a free estimate on commercial snow removal services, please contact us today!