December 12, 2013 — Farmington NH - It was the end of the 19th Century when Christmas Trees were lit with candles mounted precariously on branches. The ornaments reflected the dim light. Christmas time was burn-the-house-down time back then. Today, it’s hard to believe that that was the chosen method for “lighting” a tree. Now, we use incandescent lights. Those ahead of the curve have switched to LED Christmas lights and that’s a smart move. LED lights not only save energy, they put much less load on wiring and also give off much less heat, both of which reduce the chance of fire.

No matter what kind of lights decorate your tree and other Christmas decorations, New Hampshire electrician, Gus Rainone has several tips to help keep you safe this holiday season.

“It’s important to realize that outdoor GFCI outlets fail as they age,“ says New Hampshire electrician, Gus Rainone. To make sure they are OK, be sure to trip them manually every season before connecting outdoor decorations.

You should also use only lights that are rated for outdoor use. “Outdoor lights have a red UL mark while indoor lights have a holographic UL mark,” says NH electrician, Rainone.

If you’re installing a new bulb in a string of lights, make sure that you use the proper wattage. “Installing a bulb with higher than the rated wattage can cause overheating of the string,” says NH electrician, Rainone. “ I tell clients that, regardless of whether a string is new or old, they should always check every one for proper operation and that the plug is in good shape. To be extra safe, periodically feel the light strings to make sure they are not too hot, NH electrician Rainone said.

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