Keep Safety in Mind When Stringing Christmas Lights

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It’s that time of year: Deck your halls and … fa-la-la-la-la! While glistening Christmas lights are beautiful and festive, Essexville Electric reminds you to also keep things safe this holiday season. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
• Before stringing lights, carefully check them for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
• Keep your Christmas tree well-watered. The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly.
• Throw away old strands of lights for newer, safer lights.
• If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs.
• Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets. Make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks.
• Extension cords occasionally overheat, so touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it.
• When hanging lights, don’t use tacks, nails or screws, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead.
• When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
• Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there.
• Turn off Christmas lights when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.