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Do Holiday Lights Need a GFCI?

christmas lights around front door

Do Holiday lights need a GFCI or a Ground Fault indicator? Outdoor holiday lights are an essential part of any home’s decorations. You might have heard the word GFCI (Ground Fault Circut Interrupter) floating around, and you probably have some of these special circuit-interrupting devices installed in your home. But the big question is: Do outdoor holiday lights also need GFCI’s? Outdoor electricity requires extra caution because it’s exposed to all sorts of unpredictable weather conditions.

You probably have an idea of what happens when water and electricity meet. Hence the need for GFCI. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a safety device mandated by the National Electric Code (NEC). GFCI’s reduce and prevent electrical hazards. The primary role of a GFCI is to disrupt electrical circuits in case of a sudden power surge. GFCI’s prevent electrocution in the process. It continuously monitors electrical input and automatically trips and de-energizes a circuit if it detects electricity flowing to a grounded surface. Before the installation of GFCIs, nearly 800 people died annually from household electrocutions. Now, less than 200 people die annually from household electrocutions. Don’t forget that outdoor lights can be exposed to almost anything your environment has to offer, from rain to snow and everything in between. Do holiday lights need a GFCI? Absolutely!

You need to plug your outdoor lights into GFCI-protected receptacles. We also install a cover to protect your GFCI from the elements. Amps & Volts wants all of our customers to be safe this holiday season and consider installing a GFCI with a cover on all their outdoor receptacles. Schedule an appointment today or call us at (219) 754-5380!