Holiday Decoration Safety in Wet Weather - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Holiday Decoration Safety in Wet Weather

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Many Texomans have already put up their holiday decorations and are lighting them up at night, but precipitation could put some in danger.

"People should always read the installation and maintenance instructions before displaying them. If you're going to hang up lights, you should also make sure they are Underwriters Laboratories or UL listed. If they are UL approved, then they will have a tag on them displaying "UL listed", said Journeyman Electrician for Cleveland Electric David Kell.

Even if your lights are safe to be used outside, some could be old and have wear and tear on them. Just in case, you should still go out and check them.  

"You want to check for frays, bare wires or cracks in any of the wires of the decorations before plugging them in to make sure that they are safe," said Kell.

If you have connected multiple strings of lights together, you have even more to do.

Kell said "Just make sure the connection is secure and that they aren't loose. You can run a string of electrical tape over it if you would like, but if they are rated for outdoor use. They are designed to maintain that connection."

Once your strands of lights are safe to use., you should only plug them into a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI.

"A GFCI is designed to protect you. In case water does come in contact with the lights, the GFCI will trip the circuit before someone gets injured," said Kell.

Kell said you also want to make sure the ends of your lights are not sitting in a puddle of water. It could potentially cause an electrical short, trip your circuit breaker or blow a fuse on the lights.

If that happens to you, Kell urges you to unplug the decoration before you check on it. You don't want an electrical current running through it for your safety.

Kell recommends to always use common sense. If it doesn't seem safe, it probably is not.

James Parish, Newschannel 6