Christmas Light Safety Tips

There are several things you need to do to ensure that your Christmas lights are safe before you hang them up.

  • Verify Proper Rating – Bargain lights aren’t a good deal if they pose a fire hazard. Only use lights that have been tested and rated by Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL). Strings of lights that have a safety rating are clearly marked, both on the packaging and with labels attached to the electrical cords.
  • Check for Fraying – When you remove your holiday lights from storage, check the cords to make sure they are not frayed or otherwise damaged. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to an electrical short. This can damage your other lights and holiday decorations, as well as potentially lead to a fire. If you discover damaged strings of lights, throw them away.
  • Use as Directed – There is a big difference between indoor holiday lights and outdoor holiday lights. Before hanging lights, make sure that you are using the fixtures only in the environment in which they were designed to be used.
  • Choose Locations Carefully – Avoid hanging holiday lights near any item that poses a potential fire hazard, such as candles, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. Make sure bulbs aren’t too close too loose paper or any other flammable materials.
  • Hang Carefully – Never use tacks, staples, or nails to hang up your holiday light display. Instead, use insulated holders designed especially for this purpose.

Once the Lights are in Place

Holiday light safety doesn’t end once the lights are up and ready to go.

  • Select Extension Cords Wisely – There’s a good chance that you are going to need extension cords to complete your holiday lighting display. Make sure you have a sufficient quantity and length of grounded extension cords for the amount of the lights you plan to use. Do not overload extension cords with more wattage than they are designed to accommodate. It’s also important to verify that any extension cords you are planning to use outside are rated for exterior use.
  • Place Extension Cords Properly – Make sure that cords are placed so as to avoid posing a tripping hazard. Verify that they are not pulled taut, so there isn’t an elevated risk of them pulling over your Christmas tree or other decorations.
  • Turn Lights Off When Away – Do not leave holiday lights on when your house is unattended or when everyone in the home is asleep. In the event that a problem develops with your light display, it’s essential that someone be on hand and alert to react quickly to avoid damage, a serious fire, and injuries.
  • Bulb Replacement – When bulbs burn out, it’s important to replace them right away. It’s dangerous to have light strings plugged in with empty sockets. Be sure that the replacement bulbs you select are the correct wattage.

May you and yours have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!

Dive in! But remember that Electricity and Water don’t mix! Electrical Safety Tips for Pools and Spas

pool and electricity safety

Is that new house concealing hidden electrical dangers?

Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s safe!

When we came across this story recently, we thought immediately of how one of our electrical safety inspections can make a huge difference in the lives and safety of our customers and neighbors. Read this scary news article and then feel free to call us for your inspection.


Use a qualified electrician to add outdoor lighting around your home

nightimeoutdoor lighting

You may have noticed that it’s not staying as light as late as it used to in the early evening… which means it’s time to think about outdoor lighting around your home. Lights along a pathway, above a garage or patio, or illuminating your front porch can not only add beauty to your home but it can make your home safer too.

The one thing we all know as northern Maryland’s electrical experts is how to always put safety first. The safety of our customers and their homes is our number one priority at Mister Sparky. So when you are considering adding outdoor lighting around your home, call us first at 410-457-7297.

By adding lighting to the exterior of your home, you are:

  1. Reducing the likelihood of accidents by illuminating pathways and porches, keeping both family and guests aware of what is around them at all times.
  2. Warding off potential thieves; burglars love a nice dark home with no lights around doors or windows as it minimizes the chances of them being detected by neighbors. Particularly, motion detection lights can scare off would-be intruders and provide peace of mind to homeowners.

And, of course, any time you add new lighting to your home, you are increasing the curb appeal and thus the potential value of your home. From the subtle style of a well-placed coach light above the garage to a flood light that shines over a pool area at night, make sure you hire a professional electrician to perform the work.

That will guarantee the job is done right and keep you safe from the dangers of electrocution. Have your home’s electrical system inspected by the highly-trained professionals at Mister Sparky. It’s easy and it might just save a life!

Visit our page on outdoor lighting for more information. Then schedule an appointment with your Mister Sparky electrician today!

Warning! These home electrocution statistics may shock you


Our lives are dependent on electricity, every waking and even every sleeping hour. You know how frustrating it is when you can’t charge your phone! It is such an important part of our day to day life that it is almost impossible to imagine living without it.

Some of these numbers may surprise you, but after reading them you may want to think twice about trying to solve that electrical problem in your home on your own.

It’s just not worth it!

30,000 = Number of non-fatal shock accidents each year that occur at home

325 = Average number of electrocutions each year

2,555 = Number of children that are treated each year due to wall outlet shock accidents

70% = Percentage of child-related electrical accidents that occur at home under adult supervision

60 = Number of electrocutions each year associated with consumer appliances

These accidents occur because electricity always seeks a path to the ground. All electrical contact injuries occur when a person accidentally becomes a part of the electricity’s path to the ground.

Electricity travels at the speed of light. In fact, it can travel the circumference of the world 7.5 times per second. So imagine how quickly these types of accidents can occur.

We have come to take electricity for granted. But one thing you should not take for granted is its danger as a powerful force that can result in fire, injury and death.

Of course, the most important reason you shouldn’t try to work on your home’s electrical system is because you want to make sure your family members are all safe and sound. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by calling a trained electrician to check out the electric problems throughout your home.

In fact, why not have your home’s electrical system inspected by the highly-trained professionals at Mister Sparky. It’s easy and it might just save a life!

Contact us today!