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Christmas Light Safety Tips


Christmas is almost here, and like families all across the country, you’re probably getting ready or even finishing up hanging those Christmas lights. But before you go any further, you should stop and make sure you are using all your decorations safely. While Christmas lights are a wonderful way to brighten the holiday season, they can become a potential hazard if you are not paying attention or following instructions while putting them up. Keep reading for our top 10 Christmas light safety tips, and make sure to hire our experienced Albany electricians at Mel Carr Electric for all your landscape and interior lighting needs.

The Top 10 Christmas Light Safety Tips:

  1. Throw Away Old or Outdated Lights: While we understand that those old family Christmas lights may have sentimental value, there comes a time when it’s important to replace them. Lights that are cracked, attached to frayed cords, or have wires poking out are unsafe for everyone in your family. On top of this, lights that are older may not be up to modern safety standards. Instead, consider getting rid of those damaged Christmas lights and…
  2. Upgrade to Modern, Energy-Efficient LED Lights: As Mel Carr Electric can tell you firsthand, LED lights are not only safer, but more energy-efficient for your property. This year, make the switch, and purchase new LED Christmas lights that will save you money and keep everyone in your home safe.
  3. Monitor Outlets and Connections: If you are using older lights, it's important that you limit the amount you have plugged into one outlet. This will not be an issue with new LED lights, however, if you use inflatable lawn ornaments, make sure you are are not overloading your outlets with too many at one time, as these decorations have a larger electrical draw. You will also want to keep connections, where your lights come together, dry and tight, as letting them come loose and be exposed to snow may be hazardous.
  4. Keep Indoor Lights Indoors and Outdoor Lights Outdoors: Despite what many people think, indoor and outdoor Christmas lights are not interchangeable. Especially in places like New York, where indoor lights are not built to withstand snowy and cold weather, it is important to be mindful of this when putting up your decorations.
  5. Make Sure All Lights Are Secure: Loose strands of Christmas lights could cause your family to trip and fall if you are not careful. Make sure everything is in place securely, and when you are putting lights up outside, try to use clips instead of screws and nails, as you don’t want to puncture any wires.
  6. Turn Lights Off When You Leave the House: As we already talked about in our blog last month, you should unplug all Christmas lights every time you leave the house. Even if you have purchased the most reliable lights on the market, it’s just better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your property.
  7. Plug Outdoor Lights into a GFCI Outlet: Your outdoor Christmas lights should be plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This type of outlet prevents electric shock, even in wet weather conditions, and acts as its own kind of circuit breaker.
  8. Try to Purchase Lights that Are UL Certified: Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety organization. Lights that have the UL stamp of approval are designed and manufactured to meet top safety regulations and industry standards.
  9. Water Your Tree Frequently: Dry trees and Christmas lights are a bad combination! Water your tree regularly to make sure it looks great and your property is safe.
  10. Be Careful When Putting Lights Up and Taking Them Down: Hanging Christmas lights successfully is all about common sense. Make sure you have a spotter if you are using a ladder, don’t run power cords in and out of doors and windows where wires might snap, and when the holiday season is over, put your lights back in the box where they will not get tangled up and can remain safe and secure till next Christmas.

For more information on holiday lighting, dial (518) 500-3042, or send us a message online. And from everyone here at Mel Carr Electric, here’s wishing your family a very Merry Christmas!

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