We hate to be the harbingers of bad news during this blessed time of the year, but everyone who celebrates the Christmas season by festooning their homes with lights needs to know that there are inherent dangers in that treasured and common practice. We believe that it’s important to make safety the number one priority at Christmas time. So, we at Perfect Electric Services will pass on some important electrical tips to make your celebration just that much safer and how to install your Christmas lights.
- Make sure your lights are UL listed and approved. UL is the independent laboratory that tests them and certifies their safety for use in the United States and Canada.
- Carefully inspect your strings of lights. Look for wear on the wires and do not use any that are frayed or worn through. Check each bulb for broken or cracked sockets and loose connections. Do this before you plug them in. Otherwise a spark can cause a fire on your clothing. This is very important because many fires are caused by defective or worn-out lighting.
- Test them before you hang them up on your tree, wrapped among garland or hanging from your eves outside.
- Do not use indoor lights outdoors, and visa versa. Lights for indoor use aren’t weatherproof. Some outdoor lights burn too hot for indoor use.
- As far as outdoor lights are concerned, they should be securely fastened to prevent them from wind damage, which could cause shorts.
- Never plug more than three standard-size strings of lights into a single electrical socket. Overloaded circuits cause nasty and sometimes deadly fires.
- Do not use lights to decorate a metal tree. These trees actually conduct electricity and can cause nasty shocks or worse. For the same reason, it’s also advisable to avoid metal garland where there are lights. Use colored spotlights to add drama with metallic trees. Note: It’s important to place them away from the tree.
- When you go to bed or leave the room, unplug the lights. This is extremely important because untended lights may short out and cause fire.
It’s also important to know that if your home was built between the mid 1960s to about 1972, it’s very likely that it has an old electrical panel (Zinsco, Sylvania, Bryant, Challenger and Federal Pacific Electric) that can actually heat up enough to catch on fire and antiquated aluminum wiring systems, which are increasingly subject to wear and fraying, and which can cause dangerous electrical fires that you can’t fight with water.
Old electrical systems are the 8th cause of fires to residential and commercial structures. If you have such a system in your home, there is a solution that includes financing if you are qualified. Call us today at Perfect Electric Services at 954-772-7049 or click on Christmas Lights Installation for more information
Have a blessed and safe holiday season from your friends at Perfect Electric Services, Inc.