Exterior lights on trees, lawns, and rooftops are going up all over DFW, but if you haven’t put yours up yet we want to make sure you do it safely! There are many things to consider in order to avoid injury or pesky bulb outages when decorating you home this year. If you’re a lighting DIY-er, take these tips into consideration before you begin your outdoor decorating.
1. Read Labels: Make sure you’re using outdoor lights because they have been tested to certain specifications for safety, wattage, and ability to weather the elements. This applies to extension cords as well.
2. Test Each Strand: Check every set of lights individually to make sure they’re working after sitting in storage over the last year. While you’re doing this, inspect each stand for frayed or bare wires, loose sockets, and bad bulbs.
3. Support: Use string, ties, and hooks to securely fasten your lights to your trees, walls and roof. Make sure to leave some slack when connecting to outlets so that they stay plugged in even in harsh weather.
4. Don’t Overload: Most lights recommend connecting a maximum of 3 strands to one another to avoid blowing a circuit. Check your box for more specific instruction.
5. Have a Spotter: If you’re on a ladder, have someone holding onto the bottom of it. Don’t overreach or set the ladder on an uneven surface. If you insist on getting on the roof, research adequate safety equipment and always have someone watching you. If you’re unsure, hire a professional.
6. Take Down and Recheck: Leaving your lights out all year will cause deterioration and shorten their lifespan, so take them down when the holiday season comes to an end. When you take them down use the same caution as when you hung them and recheck for damaged wires, lights, and plugs.