With the winter holiday season approaching, this might be a good time to get word out to your customers about the importance of electrical safety, especially as it applies to holiday lighting—indoor and outdoor. In Part 1, we looked at important safety tips for indoor holiday lighting. Here, we look at important safety tips for outdoor holiday lighting.
This is information that you can pass on to your customers in person or post on your website. You might also contact your customers to let them know that your company is available to come out again to check their outdoor holiday lighting and other displays to ensure they are set up properly and safely.
The following tips are recommended for outdoor holiday season lighting:
- Make sure that all extension cords and electrical decorations used for outdoor displays are marked for outdoor use.
- Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with amperage rating of extension cords.
- Outdoor electrical lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If circuits are not GFCI-protected, portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.
- Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords for damage before using.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage but take care not to attach or mount the light strings in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
- Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
- Make sure that spotlights used to illuminate decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather and located a safe distance from flammable items.
- Inspect ladders for loose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using.
- Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
- Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
- Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors or windows, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
- Always unplug electrical lights and other decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
- Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.
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