Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) December 6, 2007
It's that time of year - time to install lights inside and outside your home. Nothing puts you and your neighbors in the holiday spirit like a vibrant and colorful display. But, this time of year also means a huge increase in home fires -- many being caused by a host of electrical fires stemming from holiday decorations. Timothy Clark, Marketing Director at ConstructionDeal.com, reiterates that, "when getting into the holiday spirit, safety should always be the main priority."
Here are some tips to make sure you, your family, and your house remain safe when decorating for the holidays:
- Make sure all your outlets have no cracks. You shouldn't have to force a plug into any socket. If the socket is loose, this can cause problems from shocks or fire.
- Your outlets can handle about 15 to 20 amps - don't plug in every light string or decoration into one outlet. Mix it up and move cords to other outlets. 25 Christmas light bulbs are 1.135 amps. 50 lights are 2.270. An 18 amp outlet can handle about 380 normal (C7) lights. Add more than that and you could have a fire hazard. 300 mini lights is usually 1 amp.
- Check all your cords for frays, splits, or damage. Don't use them if they're damaged. Don't tape them up and hope for the best. And don't run extension cords under carpeting or rugs. Try not to use extension cords that are still rolled up - either use a shorter cord or extend it out completely.
- For outdoor lights, use an extension cord rated for the outdoors.
- Never remove a 3rd pin in a cord to make it fit into a 2 pin socket. That's a recipe for disaster.
- Keep lights away from electrical & gas heaters, fireplaces, candles, or other heat sources.
Hanging Your Lights
- Don't hang holiday lights on sharp hooks . Don't pound nails or hooks in through the light cords. Avoid stapling around or on the cords.
- Do not run cords through doors and windows and close them on the light cords. Crimping the cords is a fire hazard.
- Make sure the lights are unplugged BEFORE you try to replace any burned out bulbs.
- Many accidents occur when people are climbing on ladders up their roofs - make sure someone holds your ladder when you're on it. Don't climb to the top two steps. Get a taller ladder. Don't put your ladder in mud or loose dirt, and don't lean your ladder against doors or windows.
- Replace burnt out bulbs promptly. Make sure the replacements are the same wattage.
- Make sure the lights used outdoors are also rated as outdoor lights. Crazy weather arrives across the country in the month of December and you don't want indoor lights out in the elements.
- All outdoor lights need to be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). There are portable ones that you can buy at a hardware store, or you can have them permanently installed by an electrician.
- Make sure your holiday lights are off while you sleep or away from the house. You can use a timer so that they turn off the same time each day and night.
Good luck with your lighting displays. If you don't feel comfortable installing your lights - ConstructionDeal.com can help you find a local professional to install them. Post your lighting project for free on the ConstructionDeal.com site to be matched with quality handyman or electrician in your area.
ConstructionDeal.com helps homeowners and business owners get their projects done. Since 2004, they have developed a nationwide network of quality contractors and service professionals ready to help these project owners. People can post residential and commercial requests for free and are connected to local experts, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Construction Deal.com, a trusted member of the Better Business Bureau, is the fastest growing contractor referral service in the industry.
Construction Deal, Inc.
5152 Sepulveda Blvd. #114
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403