Consider these safety tips when hanging your outdoor seasonal lighting:
- Power down: Before working with outdoor wiring, turn off the electricity to the supply outlet and unplug the connection.
- Look for the CSA International certification mark: Ensure that light strings, cords, spotlights and floodlights are certified by CSA International and marked for outdoor use or wet locations.
- Hang 'em high: When hanging lights outdoors, keep electrical connectors above ground, out of puddles and snow, and away from metal eaves troughs.
- Don't nail it: Use insulated fasteners rather than metal nails or tacks to hold light strings in place.
- Be weather wise: Remove outdoor lights promptly after the holiday season to avoid damage caused by extended exposure to harsh weather conditions.
- Time it: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.
- The right receptacles: Whenever possible, connect all outdoor lighting into receptacles protected by weatherproof ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These can provide protection from electric shock by sensing ground leakage and cutting electrical power.