With the holidays in full swing, things are lighting up around town, and many homeowners are getting into the holiday season by stringing up festive lights. The additional lights may add cheer, but they also increase the risk of electrical fire, which can damage wood, not to mention pose a serious risk to holiday enjoyment.
To minimize the risk of electrical fire it is important to follow safety guidelines and use best installation practices for stringing up exterior lights around your home.
- Before stringing up any lighting measure the area so that you purchase the proper length of string lighting.
- Be sure to use lights specifically designed for outdoor use. These types of lighting are specially designed to withstand the elements, such as temperature change and moisture from dew accumulation or rain.
- Check the wattage requirements and how many strings can be safely connected. It may be wise to have more than one electrical outlet available for plugging in lights. Generally three strands can be safely connected and plugged in to one outlet, so it may be advisable to factor in an outlet for every three strands of lighting.
- Inspect all strands individually before connecting them to see that all the lights are working properly and that there are no frayed or exposed wiring. Light replacement can become more of a bother once the lights are up.
- When installing the lighting around the exterior of your home be sure not to puncture or attach them to the gutters. As an added protection from the elements, affix strands just below the gutters as they are designed to collect rain water and prevent it from running down the side of the home.
- Some lighting come with specialized fixtures for outdoor installation that allow the lighting to be put up and taken down while the fixtures remain in place for future use without detracting from the aesthetics of your home. This is a better alternative than using a heavy duty staple gun to put up the lights, which will then result in tiny holes in your wood trimming once removed. Though these holes may be tiny they penetrate into the wood allowing for moisture to invade.
If an electrical fire should occur damaging the wood trimming or siding of your home, all is not lost. Restorations can be performed to restore the beauty of your home. Contact Home Improvements of the Carolinas or call (336) 271-3323. We provide home restorations from water, fire, and storm damage for residential and commercial buildings, servicing Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Cary, Raleigh, Haw River, Mebane, Kernersville, Chapel Hill and in-between.