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Safety tips for hanging holiday lights

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

While putting up those holiday lights and decorations is always a fun time for families, it can also be dangerous.

Before you head up that ladder to deck your home in Christmas lights, you'll want to do a few things first to ensure safety.

Daryl Lee and his professional crew hang lights for a living at about 100 homes every holiday season and say that hanging Christmas lights can be dangerous if you're not careful.

Lee advises Christmas light enthusiasts to take the lights out of their tightly packed bundle and lay them on the ground. Plug them in and make sure all the bulbs are working. Replace any bulbs that are broken and look for frayed lines or cracked cords.

"One, we're checking to see if they all work. Two, we're getting them warmed up," Lee said. "You want your icicles to look long and stretched out when they're hanging. By plugging them in on the ground, they drop a lot quicker."

People should also consult what the manufacturer is saying on the box when it comes to the amount of light strands that can be strung together. Stringing together too many strands of lights can be dangerous and can also burn out your bulbs.

"When it comes to 300 count icicles, the standard rule is three strands in a row," Lee said. "The main reason for that is there's a fuse in the first main line and it can't handle you running six, seven, or eight strands in a row."

Don't overload a circuit. You want to follow the rules even if it means putting up multiple extension cords.

"A lot of people plug all their lights in the nearby socket. The plug still works but the lights don't work and it has to do with the fuses popping," Lee said. "You got to plan your power. Where are your outlets? Make sure you're running your cords properly."

Lee also shared some tips in preventing ladder injuries while hanging up your lights.

"Make sure you have a proper angle," Lee said. "Don't have your ladder too straight. Always have a spotter nearby just in case there's a problem."

By following these tips, you can safely lavish your house with a magnificent Christmas lights display.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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christmas, holiday, save money / consumer news, christina salvo
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