The winter season is right around the corner. The trees have become barren, a certain white powder has started to adorn the once green grasses, and the air is starting to bite the noses and fingers of people everywhere from Stouffville, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia. Most noticeably– the days are getting much shorter, the darkness of night is coming much sooner.
However, in the month of December, there is a brief brightness to pierce the oncoming dark. A simple reminder of the beauty that can be found in winter, of the joy that can be found in such a dreary time. A shining beacon of happiness, of good will, and most of all– of hope.
These are the holiday lights, also known as Christmas lights. Yes, Christmas lighting is one of the best things about winter– in a season that finds itself mostly gray and dark, they are colorful, brilliant, and beautiful. And Christmas lights are not just a fight against the darkness of winter, they are also a representation of a feeling. A feeling of community, a feeling that we can all get through this long season together, and a feeling that for just one month, maybe even for just one day, we can share some compassion for one and other.
And it’s this compassion, or at least a bit of concern, that we want to touch on today. Yes, we have covered some of the dangers of putting up Christmas lights in a past article, but the article itself was incomplete. There was still a couple of dangers to touch on, and we wanted to make sure that we covered all the bases so that we weren’t sending our dear readers into the world of putting up Christmas lights unprepared. Or, at the very least, unaware of the dangers that putting up Christmas lights pose. Also, we wanted to touch on how some may avoid those dangers, or at least how they can make those dangers a little less prevalent.
So, without further ado, here are some more dangers when it comes to putting up Christmas lights, and the ways that a homeowner can avoid them.
Make Sure To Use The Right Lights
One may be asking– “what does this headline mean? Surely the ‘right lights’ are the ones that are bright and beautiful and light up the front yard, right?”. Well, those asking that question are partially right, but what we mean is that one should choose the right Christmas lights for the job. More specifically– make sure that before choosing a line of Christmas lights, to check whether or not that specific line is built for indoor or outdoor use.
This may come as a shock to some homeowners, but there is a distinction between the two. More often than not, some Christmas lights will come labeled as “for indoor use only” and some will come labeled as “for indoor and outdoor use”.
But why is there this distinction? Surely the indoor lights are just as pretty as the Christmas lights that are intended for indoor and outdoor use. Yes, that may be true, but the distinction isn’t in look, it’s in the make.
Outdoor and indoor use Christmas lights are different from indoor only Christmas lights in the insulation– that is to say that the indoor Christmas lights aren’t going to work outdoors because they don’t work well around moisture. And when we say they don’t work well around moisture, we really mean it. Exposing indoor only Christmas lights to water (as in snow, sleet, hail, or rain, stuff that tends to come around a lot during the holiday season), could be potentially dangerous. So dangerous they could even be a fire hazard.
We cannot say this enough– never use an indoor only string of Christmas lights outdoors. As previously mentioned, an easy work around to this danger is just to make sure that the Christmas lights that are bought are for indoor and outdoor use.
Do Not Overuse Extension Cords or Outlets
A lot of people have seen this scene in their home– a bunch of the same lights or extension cords plugged into the same outlet, all just to power the Christmas lights. Sometimes the outlets are stuffed with power cords which are then in turn stuffed with all sorts of extension cords.
This cannot be understated– this is a total hazard. Not only are these plugs in danger of overheating, but they can also cause some serious electrical problems in the home. Heck, some may even be a fire hazard.
But how is one supposed to get around this? Well, the best way is to know how much wattage each outlet in one’s house can take, but barring that it’s best to use the rule of three– only plug three extension cords into one outlet, and try to minimize the number of plugs used in general. Anyone short of an electrician doesn’t want to mess around with electricity, as it can be very dangerous if used improperly.
Switch To LED Lights
Switching to these lights might not just save a homeowner on their electrical bill– it may just make their lighting display all the more safe. These lights tend not to overheat as much as their counterparts, which means less of a fire hazard. Also, they tend to last more seasons than other lights. At this point, switching to LED lights is kind of a no-brainer.
And so, this article about the dangers of putting up Christmas lights has come to an end. We learned today that using the right lights (indoor only vs indoor and outdoor) is not just important, but crucial for a safe lighting display. We also learned that plugging too many lights into the same outlet is never a good idea, as it could be a fire hazard. We also learned that the switch to LED lights can not just be physically responsible, but fiscally responsible as well. All that’s left is to start up on the lighting display. Be careful, but most of all– enjoy the holiday season.