Safety First: Tips for Securely Installing Exterior Christmas Lights

We may laugh at Clark Griswold’s antics and mishaps at the movies, but safety while installing exterior Christmas lights is something we should take vey seriously. Damaged equipment and overloaded circuits can pose a threat to the safety of you, your home, and your family. Let the following best practices for safely installing exterior lights be your guide.

Do a Safety Check First

Always install exterior Christmas lights in dry weather. It seems like a no-brainer, but snowy, icy, or windy conditions are not the time to be outdoors, let alone on a ladder. People tend to get overly busy during the holidays and may want to rush the decorating.

Always wear gloves with a good grip and slip-resistant footwear. Work in the early to mid-afternoon when the light is best. Scan the area for potential risks like nearby powerlines, rotting tree branches, uneven surfaces, and loose gutters.

Take frequent breaks. Installing exterior lighting is a tough job. If you have a fear of heights or any medical issues, the pros at Wolverine Electrical Contracting are here to help.

Use the Right Outdoor Christmas Lights

Always use Christmas lights and electrical equipment stamped verified and approved by testers like UL or ETL. If you don’t see either of these logos, it’s best not to use them. Make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use and are waterproof.

Seven-volt light bulbs are bigger and brighter but burn much hotter. Disaster can happen if they are near something like a gutter full of dry leaves. Use LED lights instead.

Install Lights Correctly

Follow these steps to install exterior Christmas lights.
1. Don’t tap into your home’s feeder line for power.
2. Don’t use nails, tacks, or staples to secure lights.
3. Avoid wind damage by stringing lights loosely.
4. Don’t connect more than three strands to one extension cord.
5. Only use GFCI-protected outlets.

Select the Right Equipment

Use the proper equipment when installing exterior Christmas lights. Use steady, well-supported ladders and get a family member or neighbor to hold it for extra stability. Only use commercial-grade hooks, ties, and fasteners. Never do any electrical work, even changing bulbs without powering off circuit breakers.

Fasten Outdoor Lights Securely

Install exterior Christmas lights and all other decorations in a way that they won’t come loose and fall. Do this by following mounting guidelines and weight limits. Fasten hooks and anchor hooks into gutters or fascia, not shingles. Clip long cords at regular intervals.

Check Extension Cords

Make sure you use extension cords with specifications for outdoor use. It should be made of waterproof materials and labeled for outdoor use. Secure extension grounds to the ground with duct tape or another suitable method. Check cords frequently for fraying.

Taking Down the Lights

Taking down holiday lights is much less fun and exciting than putting them up. For this reason, many people are tempted to remove them as quickly and hastily as possible, but this is not the best way to do so. When it comes time to take down your outdoor holiday lights, following the stated safety practices and precautions is just as important as putting them up. The same risks of injury or damage are still at play even when the holidays are over.

Request An Estimate

Exterior lighting for the holidays is fun and exciting but can feel rushed and stressful. When it goes beyond your skill or comfort zone, consider requesting an estimate from the pros at Wolverine Electrical Contracting. We will make your holiday more carefree and brighter. To get in touch with us, fill out the online contact form on our website.

Have it done right the first time.

Contact us today for an estimate.