One of the things that makes Christmastime so special is all of the decorations that we get to enjoy during the winter season. Adorning your house and yard with holiday lights and ornaments is a great tradition, but we want to make sure that everyone stays safe during setup and takedown. Consider these tips on electrical safety from our electricians at Piper Electric when it comes time to light the neighborhood.

Know Your Product

One of the easiest ways to avoid electrical shorts or other electrical safety issues is to use bulbs and lighting arrangements in the appropriate areas. Make sure that the lights used on the inside of your home are made for that purpose, and do the same with exterior lights. Outdoor lighting is typically insulated and designed to handle temperature changes, humidity, and other abuse while interior lights are not. In-home decorations will be tailored to avoid potential fire hazards or other accidents that might occur inside. Each has a specific purpose, so try not to mix and match and you will save yourself from potential headaches. 

When in Doubt, Unplug

We have all been there. It is time to install last year’s lights but a bulb has gone out of the string and needs to be replaced. We want to avoid the comedy of errors that make Christmas movies great, so always be sure to unplug when you are troubleshooting. This will minimize the chances of accidental shock and damage to your lights. It may seem time consuming, but unplugging before you install new bulbs or make new connections is an important electrical safety step. When replacing bulbs, also check that the wattage matches the manufacturer specifications for the lighting feature. Higher wattage bulbs can damage electrical wiring and either break strings or cause safety issues. 


It is easy to get caught up in the frantic pace of holiday activities, between cooking, hosting, and spending time with friends and family. Leaving your lights on all day and night is not recommended, both for safety and longevity of your decorations. We recommend having a master timer in place that will have your lights ready to go when the sun goes down and dormant during the daytime. This will save you time turning things on and off, and let you focus on more important tasks. If you are interested in consolidating your Christmas decorations into one easily-controllable timed switch, our electricians would be happy to help streamline your holiday installation