Christmas Light Safety Tips from Natran

We have all seen the holiday classic about the Griswalds. While their Christmas light “No No’s” make for great humor on TV we couldn’t help but think of all our Natran family and their beautiful homes during the holiday season.  We want all to not only enjoy the festive lighting and decor but we want you to be safe.  Whether you’re a decked out exterior, multiple color lights and decorations home or a simple white strand to show your holiday spirit, proper setup and safety precautions are a must.

One recommendation we encourage this season is replacing your old lights with LED lights. Especially if you’re still using those giant bulb old school lights. LED Christmas lights only use a third of the energy traditional Christmas lights use. The new age LED lights not only save tremendously on electricity but they also burn much cooler than those outdated lights.  With a cooler light source means you will save yourself time on replacing burned out bulbs. Another great perk of the LED lights is their life span, they will exceed traditional lights by at least a decade.

Before lighting up your entire block make sure you check your plugs, extension cords, timers, and power strips to make sure they are not faulty.  It is important not to overload these devices as this can create fire hazards and overload breakers.

Tips to remember when hanging Christmas lights

Christmas Trees
Most Christmas light enthusiasts will hang lights on the exterior of their homes, the bushes, wrap trees, setup lighted figures of reindeer, snowmen and Mr. Clause himself.  But many people will also put them in their windows, and most will string them around their tree in the living room.  And, more than 200 house fires per year begin with Christmas trees. A report from the National Fire Protection Association said that, Christmas tree fires resulted in “an annual average of seven civilian fire deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.”  Rule of thumb with the indoor lighting on trees and windows, never leave on when you are not home and never leave on overnight when you go to bed.

If you use a artificial Christmas tree, the hot lights on a plastic tree are an obvious fire hazard. Artificial Christmas trees will emit dioxins if burned and create all kinds toxic fumes in the process. Which goes against the grain with anything Natran because we are all about the #Healthyhome.  Of course, real trees aren’t excluded from fire hazards. Give your Christmas tree plenty of water so it doesn’t dry out. Check daily to minimize the margin for error. Dry needles pose a fire hazard just like they do in forests. The U.S. Fire Administration says “one of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems, and a heat source too close to the tree caused roughly one in every six.”.

Window Lights
If you’re using lanterns or bulb candles in your windows as decor for the holidays, as stated above make sure you turn these off before leaving or going to bed. You can use a timer but in our opinion, shutting them off yourself is much safer.   Although most newer products contain LEDs which pose less of a hazard, it’s better to know that these lights around your home are off while you sleep.

Outside Lights
Although Christmas trees are the number one concern when it comes to fire hazards around the home during the holidays, the outdoor lights can cause issues as well. Just last year, a home in our very own state of Texas caught fire when a string of lights sparked and sent the deck up in flames.

To steer clear of as many hazards as possible this holiday season, select high-quality lights that are designated for the outdoors and that have safety ratings. Stay away from those cheap dollar store lights.  Choose those that have been tested by the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) or ETL (Edison Testing Laboratories). If you’re going to continue using older sets, check for any damage to the wires that could cause a short. These light strands are kept in attacks and garages leaving them prone to nibbling by mice, plastic coating melting from summer heat, and other factors which can compromise their design making them faulty. Finally, don’t use metal, like nails and staples, to hang your lights; this can be an electrical hazard that would surely knock you off that ladder.  Use the insulated hooks and light clips that come with your sets.