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This holiday season, don’t be the guy who sets his hair on fire stringing the lights.
Listen to BOB VILA ON HOLIDAY LIGHTS, or read the text below:
Before you put them up, plug in each string of lights to see what works. Strings that are worn, kinked, cracked or have loose connections go in the trash. Missing or burned-out bulbs should be replaced to avoid overstressing the others, but never mix and match bulbs! If a string is completely dark, unplug it and change the fuse in the male plug end. If it goes out again it could be a short circuit, and it’s time to toss that string.
Outdoor lights have to be labeled for outdoor use and connected to an outlet with a ground fault interruptor. Don’t put light strings up with nails, staples or anything that could damage them.
Connecting more than three strings of incandescent lights end to end can heat up the wires and blow your bulbs, and it’s a risk you no longer need to take. LED lights run cooler, use a fraction of the electricity, and last longer.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
For more seasonal how-tos, consider: