‘Tis the season to deck the halls with holiday lights. From twinkling mini lights to large and colorful outdoor bulbs, we love to light up the winter holiday season with lots of them.

Before hanging your holiday lights this season, check out this list of do’s and don’ts!

Safety First

Before even plugging them in, test strings of lights by visually inspecting them for frayed wiring and missing or broken bulbs. Wearing work gloves, replace missing or broken mini bulbs by pulling them out with long-nosed pliers. The larger C-7 and C-9 bulbs can be removed by unscrewing them counterclockwise.

Light sets with faulty wiring should be tossed as they can present a fire hazard. Never burn lights after bedtime. Use only three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Avoid placing lights near the bottom where pets may play with them and knock over the tree.

When decorating outside, only use waterproof lights approved for outdoor use. Avoid decorating in icy weather and use a good ladder firmly on the ground. Secure lights with insulated holders, not nails or tacks. Make sure to use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet as a power source. A GFCI will shut down the circuit in case of overcurrent.

Energy Efficiency

Holiday lights and other festivities are bound to result in a higher energy bill. Take some steps to lower costs with a few tricks. Limit outdoor displays to a few hours. Put lights on a timer. Have a holiday bake day and get all the baking done at once. Use smaller appliances like crockpots and microwaves for cooking. Consider decorating with LED outdoor lights. They use less energy.

Can Your Electrical System Handle Holiday Lighting?

Remember what happened in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Mr. Griswald didn’t understand that installing loads of lights around the house can cause short circuits. It’s not comical in real life. An average of 150 homes burn every year due to using holiday lights incorrectly. It’s important to understand what your home’s outlets can handle.

Even if you’re only planning a modest display, play it safe. Our technicians at AAA Service can check the circuit breaker in your electrical panel to make sure it will cut power in case of an overload. Most home’s receptacles can only handle between 15 and 20 amps. We can install new circuits for Christmas lights to help keep your holiday safe and merry. Call or schedule an appointment online today! 

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