By Keith Buchhalter, OPD5 Public Affairs
The Holidays are just around the corner, and it’s that time of the year to find those boxes where we store our decorations. Outdoor Christmas lights are my favorite, and I love seeing the creativity and dedication of many when it comes to decorating their home. Yes, we all have that neighbor that goes above and beyond. But let’s be honest, it’s a simple way to share the cheer and joy of the Holiday Season.
Sharing is caring, and that’s why, in this edition, I want to share with you the do’s and don’ts of outdoor Christmas lights.
- DO invest in supplies rated for outdoor use. It’s important to select lights, extension cords, power strips and timers that are rated for outdoor use so they can stand up to moisture, precipitation, and weather changes.
- DO make sure you have backup when you’re using a ladder. Even if it seems like an easy job, have someone on hand to steady the ladder and generally keep an eye out for your safety. Even seasoned professionals who work on ladders all the time use the buddy system.
- DO invest in LED bulbs. They cost more upfront, but you’ll save money in the long run, as they last 12 times as long as traditional bulbs.
- DO carefully check your electrical system. Inspect the outlets and plugs you’ll be using. If there’s sparking or heating up in the socket, call an electrician. If your lights have loose or bare wires, don’t use them.
- DON’T hang lights by yourself while home alone. Be sure to wear properly fitting clothing and gloves, so nothing gets caught or snagged.
- DON’T use a staple gun to attach holiday lights, it is an action that will get you on the naughty list. Not only will staples damage your home, but you could also damage the lights. One staple misfire can ruin an entire strand of lights. So, the first rule for safe decorating: Put down the staple gun.
- DON’T overdo the power. If your lights continually trip the circuit breaker or GFCI, you probably have too many lights up.
- DON’T leave your lights on all hours of the night. Add a timer so you don’t have to worry about burning energy at 5 a.m. This is a cost-effective way to enjoy your lights without paying for power used when no one can enjoy them.
I hope you enjoy this article, and if you have a cool tip share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more energy savings and safety tips, like us on Facebook. From all of us at OPD5, may you and your loved ones have a safe Holiday Season.