Holiday Lights and Home Security
Holiday lights add cheer and a festive feeling to any home. However, fire remains an ever-present fear for many homeowners. Numerous safety advances have taken place in recent years to make holiday lights and trees safer. As a homeowner, you should only use lights that are UL-certified, which means the product meets specific safety requirements.
As the years go by, many strands of lights and other decorations get reused. It is important to carefully inspect each light strand and all extension cords for possible wear. You should also watch for broken or burned out light bulbs. Even brand new lights should be closely looked over to make sure there are no defects before stringing them on a tree or around the home.
When connecting strands of holiday lights together, remember to always follow the manufacturers instructions. You should generally not connect more than three strands of lights together. Prior to plugging the lights into an extension cord, always know the wattage on the cord and do not exceed its capacity. You do not want to inadvertently overload the cord’s wattage.
Throughout the day, it is a good idea to touch the holiday lights with your fingers to make sure they are not overly hot or possibly melting any holiday decorations. Before you go to bed at night, you should always unplug all holiday lights.
Holiday Lights Inside and Out
Live Christmas trees can dry out after only days indoors. The dry needles of the tree are highly flammable so avoid using holiday lights that get hot to the touch. Prior to buying an artificial tree, you should always make sure it is flame retardant. Vintage artificial trees might not be flame retardant and may pose a fire danger if exposed to overly hot holiday lights.
Many homeowners opt to use strands of lights to decorate the exterior of their home. Remember to only use holiday lights that are designed for exterior use. Exterior lights have been specially manufactured to withstand harsh weather and not pose a fire or electrical danger.
Holiday Lights and Luminaries
Each Christmas, in neighborhoods around the world, homeowners set out lit paper holiday luminaries along their driveways, sidewalks, and lawn’s edge. The festive lights normally consist of small candles set in a base of dry rice or sand inside of paper bags. Luminaries have a long history that dates back to early Mexico when families would put out the simple lights to guide Christ into their homes. The luminaries popularity quickly spread into the Southwestern United States and now has become a common Christmas decoration in many parts of the world.
The lovely, simple lanterns are eye-catching but do pose a fire risk. If you want to line your landscape with luminaries, please follow a few fire safety precautions and also protect your home by having advanced fire alarm systems.
- Candle Size — Only use a small candle, votive or taper size, to make the lantern. It might be tempting to use a larger candle, but the fire danger increases with the candle’s size.
- Placement — Place the luminaries away from shrubs, trees, or dry leaves. Do not place the luminaries near autos or other flammable items.
- Hose — Keep a hose handy in case one of the lanterns should catch fire.
- Weather — Avoid using luminaries on a windy night.
- Remain Vigilant — Do not leave the lit luminaries unattended. You should always keep an eye on the candles. Most luminaries burn approximately six hours, so if you must leave the lanterns unattended be sure to blow them out.
We’re the Home Security System Experts
At ProTec Security Systems, we know how important your home’s holiday decorations and remodeling ideas are to you. Holiday lights and luminaries are just one way you can decorate your home this holiday season and make it an eye-catching residence in the neighborhood. At ProTec Security Systems, we are here for your family and peace of mind this holiday season. Our advanced fire alarm systems provide top-of-the-line electronic smoke and heat detection sensors to quickly alert the home’s residents to an emergency situation so they can safely exit the house. Our monitored system will also automatically notify the authorities for quick response time.