The holidays are approaching and we are starting to string our lights in and outside the house. A house lit up with lights is a beautiful sight but stringing lights around your home can be a safety hazard if you don’t take the proper precautions. Run through this checklist to make sure you’re being as safe as possible when stringing your lights this holiday season!:
- Check for any defective lights and cords: Before stringing the lights, check for any cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
- Keep your tree well-watered: The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly! There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year. So keep your tree watered so it stays fresh and green.
- Throw away any old strands of lights: We know you want to save every penny you can around the holidays, but modern lights have fused plugs, which prevent sparks in case of a short circuit. Old strands don’t have fuses.
- Replace any strands with burnt out bulbs: But make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs when replacing.
- Keep an eye on extension cords: They tend to overheat! Touch it first, if it is hot, unplug it right away.
- Don’t use tacks nails or screws to hang lights: These can pierce the cables and they can become electrified. Use insulated hooks.
- Elevate plugs and connectors with a brick when running extension cords outside: Make sure to elevate the plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connectors.
- Take down any ground-level extension cords: This will prevent people from tripping over them!
- Make sure your outdoor lights are rated for outdoor use: Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors.
- Don’t leave lights on when you leave the house: Also don’t leave them on overnight.
- After the holidays, put the lights away in well-sealed container: This will prevent water damage and will block hungry rodents from chewing on the cords!
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.