Holiday lighting safety

Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal as well as holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that homeowners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights. Here is some advice from landscape industry pros:

Inspect The Lights and Wires
– Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle. Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

Overloading the Circuit and other Electrical Concerns
– Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands.
– Do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet.
– Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
– When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
– Be sure to tape down extension cords if they must cross walkways.

UtopianCDI9(2)

Utopian Landscapes, Harrisburg, PA

Use LED Lights, Rated for Outdoor Use
– Use LED lights since they are more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs.
– Make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use.
– Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.)
– Don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.

Be Careful on Rooftops or Elevated Areas
– Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition.
– Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding. Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often.
– Keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines.
– Work with an assistant who can provide any needed support or stabilization.

Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the skill to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.

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