Today, he shares his story and speaks out on behalf of the Energy Education Council, a nonprofit dedicated to electrical safety. Follow these key safety tips for hanging your holiday lights this season:
- Use only lights that are intended for outdoor use. And use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) extension cord. GFCIs cut off power instantly, saving you from shock if an electrical problem occurs.
- Wait for a calm, dry day to hang your lights. It’s too hazardous to be on a ladder during wind, rain, or snow.
- The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that no more than three strands be hooked together unless the directions indicate otherwise. Be careful not to overload extension cords and power strips either.
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of overhead power lines.
- Don’t staple through cords. This can damage the internal insulation and lead to fires. Use zip ties or specially designed light clips.
- Consider alternatives to hanging holiday lights, such as lawn décor, lights in low-level shrubbery, or color-changing flood lights.
- Holiday lights aren’t designed for year-round exposure. Bring them indoors when the season is over.