‘Tis the season to be jolly — and to show your neighborhood just how spirited you are by creating a stellar holiday light display outside your home. There’s something about the whimsical look of holiday lights reflecting off of freshly fallen snow that reminds us of a simpler time.
More than 80 million Americans decorate their homes each winter, but unfortunately, thousands of these individuals end up in the emergency room for injuries they receive while decking the halls.
Follow these holiday lighting safety tips to make sure you don’t become one of them this season!
Consider using LED holiday lights
Not only will switching to LED lights keep your family safer — it can also save you money in energy costs! Sounds like a win-win to us.
LED (light emitting diode) lights are about 90 percent more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. They don’t produce heat in the way a traditional light bulb does, which makes them far safer for holiday light displays since they won’t risk causing your roof or tree branches to get too warm.
Don’t decorate alone — find a spotter
We get it — it’s tempting to climb up on a ladder by yourself to hang your lights. Sometimes it’s inconvenient to wait for a friend or family member to be able to assist you, especially when you’re excited to decorate for the season!
The safest thing you can do, though, is make sure you have a spotter on the ground every time you set foot on a ladder. They can steady the steps in place and be prepared to help catch you if you fall.
Check your cords
Before you use any extension cords or lighting strands, thoroughly check them for signs of damage and wear. Don’t use any cords that are frayed, show bare wires, or have particularly loose connections when plugged into an outlet.
Additionally, make sure to follow the rule of three: don’t plug more than three sets of holiday lights into any one extension cord. Overloading a power strip can put your home at an increased fire risk from overheated wires.
Don’t hang your lights with nails or screws
Instead of using nails or screws to secure your holiday lights to your roof, opt for specifically-designed holiday light clips. You can find them at pretty much any hardware store, especially as the season approaches in full force!
These clips won’t puncture your light strands like nails might, and they’re safer for your roof, too — you won’t have to worry about any holes once you take everything down.
Unplug your holiday lights before leaving or going to bed
Leaving your holiday light display unattended is a fire risk — if something goes wrong, you’re not there to catch it right away. We recommend that you completely unplug your holiday lights before leaving or going to bed for the night.
If you desperately want them to light up the neighborhood for a short while after you’re gone, consider setting your holiday lights on a timer so they turn off on their own.
Keep an eye on your children and pets
Never leave your children or pets unattended around your holiday lights. They might be able to break off small parts of your strands that can become a choking hazard or even pull the entire display over without realizing it. No one wants to deal with that aftermath!
Here at Lindow, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season however you choose to celebrate. As always, if you have any questions about your insurance policies and what holiday damage is and isn’t covered, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our helpful hometown agents!