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Staying Safe While Rigging Up the Lights

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — ‘Tis the season to brighten your home with loads of holiday lights, but illuminating your home safely takes some thought and a lot of caution.

Holiday lights can be fun and festive, but many times, a fiasco for the novice home decorator.

It’s not as simple as string ‘em up and plug them in.

“Make sure that you have picked up lights that are UL tested. You want to make sure that they are safe for that. You want to read the manufactures instructions always and make sure that you are not putting too many strings together. The manufacturer will recommend how many strings can be put together,” says Ron Szafir at The Home Depot in West Springfield.

Certain lights are better than others for creating that lawn-to-roof lighting look

“If you do purchase LED lights, for example, you can generally string more together than you can could with a standard light bulb, Szafir says, adding that, “You want to make sure that you use extension cords outdoors that are designated for outdoor use. Try to keep them out of the snow as much as you can and areas where snow may melt and cause standing water.”

And though it may be tempting to leave them on even when your not home, Szafir says you might want to rethink that option

“When you do leave the house, a lot of people dont think about it. It’s a good idea to actually unplug the lights, not just shut off the fixture.”

Another piece of advice: “Test your lights before you hang them to make sure they are working. Make sure that you unplug them. Disconnect them from any electricity before you go up and hang them. Do it in good weather put a ladder on good stablle solid ground.”

And for many, going halfway with their lighting creations just isnt an option

[Some people go crazy with lights. Is there too much? Is there a point where you have to say knock it off thats too many lights?]

“Listen, it’s the season of lights. It’s the season joy. A lot of people do and with the new LED lights, you’re right. You have to squint a bit when you drive by certain houses, but I think it’s great. People love to see it.

Experts say its best to avoid outdoor lighting decorating in wet weather and always make sure your cords and build meet safety specifications

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