The holidays are just around the corner, and with them comes a time when you can add light and holiday cheer to your home and yard. If you plan on decking your halls with holiday lights, be sure to make wise decisions before you have them put up. Follow these tips to make sure you, your light installers, and your property are safe this holiday season.
- Do It in Good Weather
Weather is unpredictable most of the time but even more so in the winter months surrounding holidays. Snow, rain, and cold temperatures can make the environment difficult for installing lights around your home’s exterior.
Moisture means the possibility of ice on walkways and surfaces, which can make standing on a ladder to string lights a very dangerous task. Lots of snow can also put pressure on trees and build up on roofs — and you don’t want to be under falling branches or snow.
It’s best to prepare beforehand. While the fall weather is more temperate and stable, have your lights installed while the risks are lower. October and November promise less snow and inclement weather, as well as warmer temperatures, which means you can have your lights installed without worrying as much about injuries or complications.
You might be reluctant to install your holiday lights early, but unlighted strings of lights can be unobtrusive to your home’s appearance. Your other option is to watch the forecast carefully and try to schedule installation when the weather promises to be mild.
- Choose Good Lights
Putting up holiday lights isn’t simple, which means you should make sure that you only have to put them on once per season. Make sure that you’re happy with the choice of color, style, and bulb amount before you install your lights. If you decide that you don’t like them, you will have to go through the process again.
Additionally, make sure you choose lights that will be energy-efficient and not pose a danger to your home. LED lights are a superior choice, though they cost more. They use less energy, last longer, and produce more light than incandescent bulbs, which use more energy and produce more heat, increasing the risk of fire. LED lights meet Energy Star guidelines set by the EPA, so you can rest assured that they will brighten your home without damaging your utility bill.
If you’re not sure which lights would be best for your home, consult with a professional. They can help you select lights to achieve the look you want while also keeping your home and trees safe from fire and your energy bill down.
- Prepare Trees
If you plan to include your trees in the holiday cheer, make sure they’re in good condition to be strung with lights. Avoid stringing lights on dead trees or dead limbs, particularly those near your home. They could fall during the installation, or they could pose a fire hazard if your lights grow too hot. Clear away any dead foliage so that installers can wrap your tree quickly and easily with lights.
Healthy evergreen trees are popular for holiday decoration, especially around Christmas, but don’t neglect your other trees as well. Check your deciduous trees for unstable branches, and make sure they are strong enough to withstand the weight of the lights, which can increase depending on the type of bulb you choose.
- Check GFCIs
The outlets you plug outdoor holiday lights into should be ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs. These kind of outlets are made to prevent electrocution in the event that there is an energy surge. The GFCIs will sense the energy surge and shut down the power before anyone is injured. The outlets in your garage should be GFCIs since this is where you might use power tools.
Have an electrician check if the outlets most accessible to the exterior of the house are GFCIs, and also request a test to see that the GFCIs are working correctly. If there is a power surge while you are installing lights or at any time when they are on, you’ll want the GFCIs to cut off the power to prevent fire or electrocution risks.
- Hire Professionals
Other safety precautions for installing holiday lights have to do with the equipment you use and the installation techniques utilized. While you could undertake this yourself, you will be far safer entrusting the task to professional installers. They will use proper, stabilized ladders and harnesses to protect themselves while on your property, and they also know how to install lights carefully without increasing risk of injury to themselves or damage to your home and trees.
Professionals can also install your lights faster and neater, which means you can simply supervise and enjoy the results after. And when the holidays are over, the professionals can return to remove the lights, making things easier and safer for you all around.
Are you ready to decorate your home for the holidays? Contact the holiday lighting installers at PermaTreat to learn more about how we can save you time and money while we safely install holiday lighting around your home and property. Reach out to us today.