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Are you thinking of hanging up holiday lights outside your house this winter? According to NFPA.org, an average of 160 home fires per year occur from holiday lights or decorative lighting which results in millions of dollars in property damage each year. If you follow our set of tips and safe practices, you’ll be able to show off your outdoor holiday lights without fear that they will start a fire.

Today’s post provides you with a list of several dos and don’ts regarding hanging up holiday lights outside your house.

What to Do

There are a variety of steps we recommend you take to ensure your outdoor holiday lights are installed safely and in a way to show off your seasonal cheer. Our tips include:

  • Check your gutter and shingle quality and flexibility to see how best to hang your lights
  • Measure the distance to your power source, and any straight line where you want to hang your lights
  • Use a proper ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, which will shut down the circuit if there is too much current
  • Check your lights and cords for damaged bulbs or frayed cords
  • Test your waterproof and outdoor-only holiday lights to make sure they’re working
  • Using plastic or magnetic clips, attach your lights to shutters or shingles (make sure all lights are clipped in the same direction)
  • Use a light-hanging pole if you’re hanging lights in a tree
  • Keep extension cords out of the way and above ground, snow and water

What NOT to Do

  • When installing your lights, DON’T staple or nail through electric cord or wires
  • DON’T use indoor lights outside your house
  • DON’T leave extension cords where you could easily trip, walk, or damage them
  • DON’T leave your outdoor lights on all hours of the night and day
  • DON’T overdo your power by having a bunch of lights lit up for one small and weak power source


Contact ERD

For more information on how to install your holiday lights so they don’t damage your roof, contact the professionals at Exterior Remodel & Design by phone at (402) 861-0000, by email, or by contact form.