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Electrical Safety Tips for Holiday Lights | Ask This Old House

In this video, This Old House master electrician Heath Eastman shows host Kevin O’Connor what he needs to know about holiday light safety.

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Kevin O’Connor and master electrician Heath Eastman meet back at the shop to talk about holiday lights. After assessing Kevin’s inability to properly store lights, Heath helps him go through the process of checking each strand’s condition, and how to check the fuses should a strand not light. Then, the two discuss the pros and cons of LED lights and devices.

Where to find it?
Heath offers electrical safety tips for the holiday season. Before plugging anything in Heath says to check your string lights for broken or missing bulbs, frayed cords or wires showing through the insulation. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International [https://www.esfi.org/], every year 150 home fires start with holiday lights.

If you’re shopping for holiday lights, Heath advises to go for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. LED lights are cool to the touch, compared to traditional incandescent Christmas lights, and use less electricity.

Heath also suggests only using lights tested, rated, and approved by Underwriters Laboratory [https://ul.org/] (UL).

Remembering to turn off your holiday lights after they’ve been on for a while or when you’re away can
be a challenge. Heath suggests using a plug-in timer [https://amzn.to/3ThrP5J] to manage indoor or outdoor lighting. Heath says one of the most important things to do when putting up outdoor decorations is to use a GFCI outlet stake [https://amzn.to/3DKbiRP]. These power stakes are like surge protectors in that they offer a multitude of outlets with some overload protection options. To prevent puncturing wires, Heath says to use plastic light clips [https://amzn.to/3WI8764] instead of nails or screws. Using a cord protector [https://amzn.to/3NOUa2a] will protect electrical cord connections in wet conditions.

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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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Electrical Safety Tips for Holiday Lights | Ask This Old House
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