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Check your holiday lighting before plugging in

November 08, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety

Santa, reindeer, snow and all things holidays are permeating the airwaves, retail stores and the cyberworld in full force.

Of course, displays at retail outlets have been around for a couple of months now. I know, I know. Why so long before Halloween and Thanksgiving? One advantage to holiday décor out so “early” is that it isn’t picked over. So choices abound.

Let’s talk holiday lighting. It is always a good idea to closely examine your indoor and outdoor lighting for frayed wires, bulbs that don’t work, and other things like that. If they need replacing, now is a good time to do it when selections are good.

LED holiday lights have never been more cost-effective to buy. Look for the ones that are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. That means they’ve been checked out for safety. It’s important to look for the UL symbol when purchasing anything electric.

Another good tip is don’t overlook outlets with too much load. This is especially true when using non-LED lights, which draw a considerably higher electrical load that LED lights. That’s another good reason to retire your old lights that draw more current, runner hotter (increasing the chance of a fire) and cost more to run.

You younger folks can do a good deed for grandpa and grandma and check out the lights for them. They might not think of checking them out and may not be aware of all the advantages LED bulbs offer. And, being nice to your grandparents might pay off bigtime when it’s time to open presents. Good deeds can have dividends.

If all this is way too early for you, there’s still time to make sure your holiday lights are safe and sound before plugging them up.