Panter’s Pointers: Holiday Light Safety

Christmas lights are a cherished holiday tradition that illuminates the holiday season. With a little preparation and precaution your winter wonderland can be safely installed year after year with these holiday light safety tips.

Holiday light safety begins with your purchase. When buying Christmas lights, it is best to select those that have been laboratory tested. Lights with UL or ETL tags have been certified tested. Decide whether you want outdoor or indoor lights. Packages will indicate where they are safe to use. Some lights are safe for both indoor and outdoor use. Also, choose smaller lights, which do not burn as hot as larger traditional bulbs. Even with small- er bulbs it is possible to burn or even ignite other decorations, so make sure to always leave plenty of space between them.

Before installing your holiday lights remember to check all bulbs and cords. If cords are rav- eling or sockets are cracked return or throw out the set. Replace old bulbs immediately with ones of the same wattage. If you are using extension cords do not overload them. They can overheat and burn.

Remember outdoor electrical decorations must be plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). These can be bought as portable units that are outdoor safe, or they can be permanently installed by an electrician. When securing lights practice ladder safety, keep away from power lines, and do not use tacks or nails. Instead, run the lights through insulated holders. Remember, never, never install lights on a metal tree. The tree can become charged with electricity and shock someone.
Take care and enjoy the holiday season!

Panter’s Pointers for Christmas lights

1. Purchase lights that are labratory tested.

2. Choose lights with smaller bulbs.

3. Check all bulbs and cords for wear and tear before installing.

4. Plug all outdoor electrical decorations into a GFCI.
5. Install lights away from metal.