Sonora, Ca — It is the time of the year when many homeowners across the Mother Lode get in the Christmas spirit by decorating the exterior of their homes, and fire officials are urging residents to take proper safety precautions.
?You have people who have a tendency to leave up their lights all year long and just plug them in during the winter,? says City of Sonora Fire Chief Mike Barrows. ?We´ve had structure fires resulting from that type of practice. The ultraviolet rays of the sun often deteriorate the coating on the wires.?
City code mandates that lights be taken down within 90 days of putting them up in order to reduce the risk of fire. Barrows adds that it is also important to follow the manufacturer´s recommendations on lights and only plug a certain number of strands together when decorating the exterior of a home. By plugging all of your lights together, you increase the risk of overheating the strands, which could also lead to a fire.
Written by BJ Hansen