Homeowner’s Guide to Safely Hanging Exterior Christmas Lights

Tips to stay safe when hanging christmas lights, from a home inspector

November 30, 2023

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Examina Inspections

Embrace the Festive Spirit Safely

The holiday season brings joy and cheer, and one of the most delightful traditions is adorning our homes with festive lights and decorations. However, before plunging into the magic of twinkling lights and colorful displays, it’s crucial to ensure a safe and hassle-free setup.

1. Assess Your Electrical Outlets

Begin by inspecting your exterior electrical outlets. Look for signs of wear, damage, or exposure to moisture. Ensure the outlets have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to safeguard against electrical shocks. If your home lacks GFCIs, consider having them installed by a qualified electrician.

2. Detailed Inspection of Lighting and Decorations

Carefully examine each light string and decoration for any damage, including frayed wires, broken sockets, or cracked casings. Any damaged items should be replaced to prevent electrical hazards.

3. Opt for Weather-Resistant Lights

Invest in lights and decorations explicitly designed for outdoor use. These items are typically labeled as “UL Listed for Outdoor Use” and are specifically constructed to withstand various weather conditions, ensuring safety and longevity.

4. Securely Fasten Decorations

Choose secure fasteners, such as hooks, clips, or hangers, to attach lights and decorations. Ensure they are firmly secured to avoid any accidental falls or damage.

5. Mindful Placement of Extension Cords

Position extension cords strategically to avoid tripping hazards. Use covers for cords that run across walkways or high-traffic areas to prevent accidents.

6. Consider Timer and Smart Plug Options

Consider using timers or smart plugs for your lights. These convenient devices not only save energy but also automate the turning on and off of your display, providing ease and efficiency.

7. Test Lights Before Full Setup

Before completing the entire setup, test each light string to ensure they are functioning correctly. This preemptive check can save time and frustration in case any section needs replacement or fixing.

8. Safety Precautions on Ladders

When working with ladders to install lights at greater heights, ensure the ladder is on stable ground and securely positioned. Have someone assist you and be cautious of overhead wires or other potential hazards.

9. Securing Larger Decorations

For inflatable decorations or larger displays, ensure they are firmly anchored to the ground. Consider using stakes or tethers to prevent movement or tipping over during windy conditions.

Conclusion: Celebrate Safely and Joyously

By following these steps you can confidently set up your exterior Christmas lights safely and efficiently. Embrace the festive season knowing that your home is not only beautifully decorated but also safe for all to enjoy.

May your holidays be filled with the warmth of the season, the joy of sparkling lights, and the magic of delightful decorations!

If you are looking for a reliable and professional home inspector in Gibsons, Sechelt, Pender Harbour or any other location on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, look no further than Examina Inspections. We are licensed by Consumer Protection BC and follow the standards of practice set by the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. We use state-of-the-art equipment and software to provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-read report on the same day as your inspection. Contact us today to book your inspection!

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