A house lit up with lights is an easy way to spread Christmas spirit. But stringing lights around your house and roof can be a major safety hazard if you are not careful. Here are a few ways to make sure your display won’t hurt you or your property.
1. Electrical essentials
Make sure your home switchboard is fitted with a safety switch. If there happens to be an imbalance in the electrical current, which can happen if a cord is broken, the switch cuts off the power in milliseconds to prevent electrocution. If you don’t have a safety switch on your house, you will need one installed by an electrician. Also, do not leave Christmas lights on when you go to bed or when you are not at home, they could easily overheat.
2. Use the right lights and equipment
Make sure you use low voltage lighting that are intended for outdoor use. Don’t be tempted to use an old set of lights as newer lights have safer fused plugs. Before using your lights, you need to check over all the wiring and make sure there are no cracks or breaks if there are do not use these lights and if there are any burnt out bulbs replace them immediately. Hanging lights should not be hang by nails or screws as they can cause strain on the wires and create breakage. You should use insulated hooks that will not become electrified.
3. Ladder Safety
Hanging lights means climbing a ladder. As falls from ladders are currently the biggest source of home injuries, it pays to take extra precaution. Make sure the ladder is sitting square on the ground, with no wobbles. It is highly advantageous if you can have someone hold the bottom while you are up the ladder. Never over-reach as you could lose your balance, instead take the few seconds to climb down and reposition your ladder.
4. Garden Lights
Running lights through your garden is an excellent way to extend your display. However, make sure you keep the extension leads away from paths or foot traffic where they may become a tripping hazard. If they must be in the path of foot traffic, make sure they are securely taped down and highlighted. Good tip is not to run them across your lawn either as they can be easily be forgotten and sometimes hard to see before mowing your lawn.
5. Power Points
With more lights than usual you are going to need more power points than usual. Do not be tempted to use double adapters for the extra points you need. Use power boards instead. They are safer and more reliable. Keep them undercover and out of reach of children.
The combination of electric lights and gutters filled with dry leaves can be deadly. Your gutters should be clear of any debris to minimise the risk of catching fire.
When you put your lights away after the holidays, place them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block pests from damaging the cords.
If you need any help making sure you Christmas display is not only a sight to behold but a safe installation call Grey Army on 13 11 98. We have electricians, handy men and gutter cleaners available.