Picture of Decorated Home for the Holiday's

Holiday Lights Safety Tips

‘Tis the season of twinkly lights! We here at CMC Electric love seeing the transformation neighborhoods take around the holiday season. Houses sparkle and glow and residential streets turn into walking museums full of holiday decor and designs. And, as all good museums must protect their art, you need to too!


Holiday decor that requires electricity needs a little extra protection in order to ensure your home, your family, and your decor stays safe. Here are the CMC Electric safety tips for holiday lighting:

Plan Ahead

We know, it is extremely exciting to decorate your home; however, taking a step back to plan your design, and how to make that design functional, is imperative. You don’t want to find out mid-hanging that the lights you are using don’t work or that your cord isn’t long enough.

Before you start tacking up lights, make sure your outdoor electrical outlets are operational, your gutters are cleared of all debris, and your tools are ready and organized. This will ensure a smooth installation process.

Purchase Outdoor Lights

Not all string lights are meant to withstand outdoor elements. Make sure your lights are made for outdoor use. Indoor lights are not made to fight moisture and will stop working under wet conditions.

Test Your Lights

Did you plug in your lights to see if they worked before you spent two hours placing them? Hopefully, you did! Always check to see if your string lights are working before you secure them to your home.

Use GFCI Outlets

With the increase in electrical use that comes along with holiday lighting, you will want to make sure that you are connecting your electrically powered holiday decorations to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet, or a GFCI outlet. This will prevent home fires, as GFCI outlets detect surges in power supplies and automatically shut off your circuit if an overload of power is detected.

Mind Your Extension Cords

Extension cords can overheat! Do not plug all of your holiday decorations into one extension cord, it will become overloaded and potentially cause a home fire. No more than three sets of lights should be plugged into one extension cord at any given time. Additionally, double-check that your extension cord is created for outdoor use.

Precautions should also be taken when it comes to the placement of extension cords. Do not leave cords laying on walkways unless they are tacked down. Run your electrical cords along the side of your home and always secure them to the ground, or to your wall, to prevent friends and family from tripping on them.

Put Your Lights On A Timer

Apart from the obvious benefit—lower electricity bills—placing your lights on a timer will prevent unpredictable electrical emergencies from occurring while you are asleep. Always turn your holiday decorations off at night to prevent surges and other unexpected happenings from endangering you and your family.

Keep your home safe during the holidays with CMC Electric. For GFCI outlet installation or outlet and circuit repair, contact us at (919) 694-4454.

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