Even if you live in a warmer climate, December is a great time to decorate for the holidays. However, it is important that you don’t mix holiday lights and water. As you can probably imagine, this combination can have shocking results.
Today, let’s take a look at some Christmas lighting suggestions that are both festive and can help to keep you out of harm’s way.
Holiday Lights and the Weather
First and foremost, let’s talk about the title of this week’s blog. Why shouldn’t you mix holiday lights and water? Well, the same time of year when people deck their houses with holiday lights and light-up decorations is also when we get a lot of rain and snow. Before you decorate, make sure that your lights are appropriate for outdoor use. Holiday lights and water can be a dangerous combination.
Typically, your holiday lights will indicate on the box if they are for indoor or outdoor use (or both!). It is essential that you don’t use indoor lights for the exterior of your home. These lights are not equipped to handle moisture and wet weather. In the best-case scenario, these conditions can cause the lights to stop working. In the worst case, it can cause the lights to short out, creating a severe fire hazard.
Holiday Lights and Water: Keep Them Separated
Swimming and Christmas may seem like an unusual combination for some, but if you are in a warm climate, this may be a possibility! Well, exposed wiring or electricity can easily lead to electrical shocks that can occur while swimming. You can read our full dedicated blog about this hazard, but in a nutshell, encountering an electrical current while submerged in water can be fatal.
Electrical shock, much like drowning, is silent. The victim will likely never utter a sound. Instead, they will simply slip quietly under the water. The shock causes them to freeze up, unable to control their limbs or escape. It’s both terrifying and far too common.
If you are decorating around your pool area, you’ll need to be extra careful. Keep the lights and water as far away from each other as possible. That also goes for any power cables and surge protectors. It pays to be extremely vigilant. Your pool can be decorated, but it is imperative that care it taken to eliminate the risk of shocks.
Don’t keep extension cords near the perimeter of your pool and try to move the lighting as far away from the pool and deck area as possible.
What About In-Pool Lights?
When it comes to lighting your pool area, what about underwater pool lights? There are many types of lights that can be used inside your water. Of course, the best bet is to hire a professional to install these lights. You’ll want to be absolutely sure that everything is safe and up to code.
After all, there are a lot of potential hazards to consider in this situation. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these hazards are the most pressing:
- Aging electrical wiring that hasn’t been inspected in years
- Sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that are not properly grounded
- Electrical appliances that are at risk for falling into the water
- Faulty underwater lighting
Again, underwater pool lighting can be beautiful. If you install colored lights, they can even be downright festive. That said, don’t leave anything to chance.
Purchase and Install Quality Lights
This next tip may seem obvious, but a lot of people completely forget. Only use well-maintained lights. For most of us, strings of Christmas lights are bundled in misshapen balls all year round. They’re only dragged out from the attic or basement during the holiday season.
Over time, the wires can fray and the bulbs can break. When these faulty holiday lights and water mix, it can be extra dangerous.
Instead, be sure to inspect your lights before you even begin to install them. Don’t buy secondhand lights either. The newer, the better. This may seem like nitpicking, but proper light selection can save a life.
Try Solar Lights
Finally, since we’re talking about lighting the outdoor pool and patio area, why not try solar lights? We’ve written a full article about the value of solar lights. They can light your path or provide that perfect holiday ambience for the season.
Beyond safety, solar pool lights are quite affordable. When it comes to mixing holiday lights and water, they are an excellent option. They don’t use electricity and are far less hazardous to your health.
Lighting your home during the holiday season can be fun, but just remember that there are plenty of solutions available – some safer than others. Always opt for safety over flash. No matter how you celebrate this season, be sure to put the security of your loved ones top of mind. Just remember not to mix holiday lights and water.