It is the holiday season again in Hampton Roads and with it comes amazing holiday light displays. Safety should be your first priority when it comes to your lights from the time you hang them until the time you take them down. Injuries occur often during the hanging process which can be easily avoided just as fires can be avoided by not hanging old or damaged lights.
- Your first step for decorating your home with lights should be planning. Plan where you want your lights whether it be your roofline or trees and bushes. While planning do not forget to take into effectwhere the nearest ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is. These outlets can shut the circuit down if there is an overcurrent. Having these outlets protects your home and your lights from possible damage. Measure the places you plan to hang your lights so you can estimate properly the number of strands you will need.
- Preparing your lights is the next step. Check and make sure all lights and extension cords that will be outside are meant to do so. Also check and make sure you are following instructions that come with lights on how many strands you can connect together; often the maximum number is three. Go through and make sure all light strands are not frayed and if they are throw them out. Plug in your lights to test to make sure all bulbs are working correctly. With the vast amounts of lights currently on the market it is important to make sure the lights you are hanging are of the intended color. Never use staples or nails to hang lights; they can damage the insulation on the strands and leave exposed areas. Instead of staples use light clips. There are light clips specifically made for almost all surfaces and they are the safest option to light up your house.
- The third step is hanging the lights. While putting up lights use a sturdy ladder and work with someone else to stay safe. Hanging poles are a good way to avoid climbing ladders when hanging lights on a tree. The last thing to do is plug your lights in through a timer and set it so your lights come on at dusk and go off before morning.
- After all this is completed you can step back and admire your work.