Nothing says the holidays quite like holiday lights. However, decorations can spell disaster if you don't consider safety. In fact, Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that holiday lights account for over 150 home fires each year. These fires result in $8.9 million in property damage and an average of eight deaths.
Holiday lighting can also run up your electric bill. Thankfully, decorations don't have to be expensive or dangerous.
1. Switch to LED Lights
The Edison Electric Institute recommends switching to LED Christmas lights to save money on your electric bill. Compared to incandescent lights, LED holiday lights use around 90% less energy.
2. Buy a Holiday Light Timer
A good rule of thumb is to run your Christmas lights for no more than six hours a day. Do you have trouble remembering to turn them off? Pick up a plug-in timer and set the shut-off time. If you use the timer outside, use one that's rated for outdoor use.
3. Limit the Number of Lights Plugged Into Your Extension Cord
When it comes to indoor holiday lights, don't plug in more than three strains of incandescent lights on one extension cord. The lights use a lot of energy, and it's not safe to have that much current flowing through one extension cord. It increases the likelihood of a fire.
4. Watch the Power Lines
Some homes have low-lying power lines close to their homes. They're dangerous and a real concern for anyone who hangs lights close to them. When you hang lights on trees or roofs, do a quick survey for power lines. If any are nearby, stay at least 10 feet away.
5. Take Down Your Lights at the End of the Season
Don't put off taking down your holiday lights. The longer that you leave them up, the more that you risk damaging the wiring or your outdoor electrical socket. Taking them down will save money on buying new lights or doing costly electrical repairs.
For all of your electrical needs, contact Rawhide Electric Services at (360) 382-1180.