5 Essential Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips
The Christmas season is full of magic and wonderment for children and adults alike. Whether you’re a decorating novice or you simply want to display your cheer with a few strands of lights, it’s important to be extra careful as you decorate. We’ve all seen the classic holiday movies where someone falls off a roof or ladder, entangles themselves with lights, breaks a strand of bulbs by accident or overloads their circuits and the entire house is without power. One might roar with laughter while watching these holiday horror scenes unfold, but if something like this were to really happen, the outcome could be quite disastrous. If you’re not cautious while decorating, things can go awry quickly. That’s why we’ve put together these simple yet essential outdoor Christmas decorating tips to help keep the season merry, bright, and most of all free of fright!
1. Use Energy-Efficient LED Lights
If you’ve been decorating with traditional incandescent lights, consider using LED lights to transform your home into the North Pole. Incandescent bulbs waste a ton of energy; in fact, around 90 percent of their energy is heat emission. LEDs are great for Christmas decorations because they use 75 percent less energy – and they last 25 times longer. Another great benefit of LEDs is they’re not hot to the touch, making them much safer to use indoors and outdoors.
Regardless of which type of lighting you use, the first thing you’ll want to do is untangle your lights and check for frayed wiring and broken bulbs. If you have any damaged strands of lights, discard and replace them. If you have a burnt bulb, replace it before hanging and plugging in the strand. All lights should have been tested by a reputable laboratory, such as UL. There should be a tag on every strand of light indicating it’s undergone the necessary testing.
2. Never Decorate Alone
Outdoor decorating carries too many potential accidents. Always enlist the help of your husband or wife, a neighbor, or some friends. If you’re using a ladder, make sure you have someone at the bottom holding it steady. If you don’t feel comfortable decorating on your own, there are plenty of skilled holiday lighting specialists across Calgary and Victoria who can get the job done in a pinch and ensure your home is the winter wonderland you envisioned.
3. Use Safe Materials to Hang Lights
Avoid using nails or staples to hang your lights in place. Not only do you put yourself at risk for getting hurt when you use a staple gun or a hammer, you also put unwanted holes into your home. We recommend using all-purpose light clips, such as these. They’re easy to use and won’t cause damage to your home. You can purchase them at practically any place that sells Christmas lights.
4. Don’t Keep Your Decorations Plugged in 24/7
It might be tempting to keep your holiday decorations turned on at all times so that you can showcase your hard work for all to see, but doing so does more harm than good. Not only will your energy bill shoot through the roof, but you also put your house at risk for an electrical fire. We recommend installing timers on your lights and decorations so that you won’t have to worry about forgetting to switch off the power. If you need help installing a timer, give the experts at 24/7 Electric a call! If you will be traveling during the holiday season, unplug your decorations before you leave. This will allow you to have peace of mind while you’re away, and enjoy time spent with your loved ones
5. Practice Electrical Cord Safety
First thing’s first: all electrical cords should be plugged into GFCI outlets. If the outside of your home is not adequately equipped with this type of outlet, call a licensed electrician as soon as possible. While setting up and plugging in your decorations and lights, make sure your cords aren’t tripping hazards. Since we do receive a good amount of snow each year, it’s important to also keep your cords away from any standing water and snow.
If you run into any electrical problems this holiday season, rest assured the team at 24/7 Electric will be there in a dash! Christmas is one of our favorite holidays of the year, so we take special pride in helping bringing cheer back into the homes of families.