Kelowna Christmas Light Safety: Top 10 Tips
No holiday-decorated home in the Okanagan is complete without yards and yards of twinkling Christmas lights. People hang them just about anywhere they can, from the tree to the banister, from the ceiling to the roof. But if you’re not careful these very bright and cheery elements can also bring a hidden danger into your home. Most homeowners aren’t taking the proper safety precautions this holiday season. So before you start buying string lights by the bulk or unravelling the old ones out of the attic and hanging them up everywhere in your home, take note of these top ten tips from your Kelowna electrician for properly choosing, setting up, and storing Christmas lights.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #1: Damaged Wires
If you’re re-using your old Christmas lights, inspect them closely from end to end. If you see signs of damage, like frayed wires or exposed conduction, don’t plug them in to test if they still work. Just toss them in the garbage and buy a new set.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #2: Burnt out Bulbs
Replace burnt out bulbs immediately, but be mindful of the wattage you are buying. Mismatches can cause surges, sparks, and exploded bulbs.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #3: LED Lights
Choose LED Christmas lights. They are more expensive, but they don’t create heat and emit the same amount of light. No heat means no potential fire hazard – and no calls to the Kelowna or Lake Country fire department.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #4: Use the Right Cord
Don’t improvise with an indoor cord outdoors, or daisy chain several shorter cords instead of just getting a longer one. Purchase extension cords to do the job properly and safely.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #5: Extension Cords
Avoid running extension cords across high-traffic areas, like corridors and entryways, so people won’t trip on them. Don’t run extension cords under carpets, out windows or doorways where they could become pinched.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #6: Power Strips
Avoid connecting numerous plugs to one power strip as this can cause electrical overloading.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #7: Insulated Hooks
Don’t use tacks, nails, or screws – these are all sharp-edged bits that can easily pierce your electrical wiring, causing all sorts of problems. Instead use insulated hooks.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #8: Ladder Safety
When putting up Christmas lights in Kelowna make sure that if you’re using a ladder it is placed on level ground. Avoid any rocky surfaces, loose or slippery substances, or wet grass. Always face the ladder when climbing and never try to walk yourself up backwards. Have someone keeping an eye on you, or better yet have them help out.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #9: Fire Safety
Observe fire safety. Keep your Christmas tree at least 3 feet from candles, fireplaces, and curtains. If using candles, burn them in proper holders on sturdy surfaces away from children and pets. Put out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
LIGHT SAFETY TIP #10: Turn Lights Off
Don’t leave your Christmas lights on when leaving you’re home and always turn them off before going to bed. Be sure your home is equipped with a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.
Christmas lights are there to brighten up your holiday, not light up your home. So keep it safe and jolly in Kelowna this Christmas by following these precautions.