It's Christmastime and you're all set to get those twinkling Christmas lights set up on the roof and all around your Venice homes' exterior!  After all....we've all seen the Christmas movie "Deck the Halls" showing the incredible Christmas lights competition between two neighbors, so we know it's important to have your home looking it's best for the holidays! But it's also extremely important to follow basic safety rules when setting out to do this decorating so that your Christmas masterpiece doesn't turn into your Christmas nightmare.  

Here are 5 Safety Tips to guide you in while putting up your Christmas Light Extravaganza:

Inspect the Lights & Wires. Always inspect the lights and wires you will be using before starting out on your masterpiece. Christmas lights were'nt made to last for years and years, so throw out ones with brittle wires, broken sockets or lights that cannot be replaced. Also check your extension cords for exposed wires and throw out if they cannot be repaired safely. You also want to inspect any other decorations you will be using.  This includes any lawn, or rooftop ones that are made of wood, rubber, plastic or are operated with mechanical parts. Make sure all pieces are operating properly. Again, if not...DO NOT USE THEM!

Do NOT overload your electrical circuits.  It is extremely important not to connect five or more light strands end to end, otherwise a circuit can become overloaded.  The ONLY exception to this rule is the LED's in which case you can connect more than 5. However, because it causes confusion, I would say stick with the 5 rule for all of them.  Also, make sure the strands are not pulled too tightly just so you can reach the outlet, as that can also cause an issue.  Other electrical problems to watch for are:

 

  • Any Water/Moisture that gets into the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • Avoid lighting touching the ground, it runs the risk of pooling water which results in shorting out the lighting and causing electrical currents and danger to everyone.
  • Make sure to tape down extension cords in driveways, sidewalks & entryways.
READ ALL LABELS CAREFULLY FOR OUTDOOR USE!
Yes, we did capitalize that for a reason. LED lights are more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords you are using are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Many times these products are rated ONLY for indoor use. So take the extra time and read the label to ensure you have picked out the appropriate ones for your project. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are what outdoor lights need to be plugged into. And remember, when you are replacing bulbs into your light strands, the strand needs to be UNPLUGGED. 

Take Precautions on Roof Tops and Other Elevated Areas. So important! Before you get up on the ladder...make sure it is safe! No missing rungs, bolts, or hinges and then make sure you have it grounded well before you take your first step. It would really stink to have you in a cast or in the hospital for the holidays, so do your safety check first!  After you've done this, get yourself situated so that you don't need to overreach once you're up on the ladder. When you start stringing the lights, you will be up and down often to keep moving the ladder.  Watch for the any electrical lines, downspouts, and anything else that could risk you falling. Lastly, if your roof is really steep or very high...don't be a hero! Hire a Venice Professional to come in and finish the job, or decide not to decorate that part. Trained professionals have tools and equipment to reach those area's and use different methods of installation. Nothing is worth the risk of you getting hurt. 
Remove lights at the end of the holiday season.
 Sometimes weather can make it impossible to remove the lights right at the end of the holiday season.  If this is the case, then aim to get them down at your earliest possible time that the weather permits. Lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you pack away the lights for next year.

REMEMBER...HAVE FUN WHILE YOU'RE CREATING THIS MASTERPIECE!  AFTERALL, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!    
                                    
If you are interested in becoming a homeowner in Venice FL give us a call or visit our website at:  EXPERIENCE VENICE.
VENICE FLORIDA......................LIVE THE PARADISE LIFE!