While this is the most wonderful time of the year, a few Christmas light safety tips can keep you merry and bright this holiday season. Unfortunately, extra decorations lead to more house fires and electrical accidents at this time of year. Putting up lights is an important tradition for many, so follow these tips to make sure you’re stringing lights in the safest way possible.
1. Start Smart by purchasing electrical decorations and lights from reputable retailers.
2. Look for a UL Safety logo that marks lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
1. Inspect each electrical decoration before setting them up. Cracked or damaged sockets, bare wires, or loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
2. Avoid Overloading outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. Three strands of lights per outlet is a good guideline.
3. Keep Cords Dry and avoid letting them sit in puddles of rain or snow.
1. String Lights Carefully to make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation. Also, avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
2. Always Unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
3. Water Fresh-Cut Trees and keep electrical cords away from water. Also, do not put lights on metallic or tinsel trees.
4. Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.
As always, schedule a service call if you have trouble with frequent breakers tripping, lights flickering, or your outlets or switches feel warm to the touch.
A Note on Space Heaters: Space Heaters can warm a room, but they can also be a fire hazard. Never plug one into a power strip, and keep all combustible items such as paper and clothing at least three feet away from it. More information can be found on the Electrical Safety Foundation’s website.
We hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday! In addition to these tips, you can schedule a home electrical safety inspection to make sure your system is safe and working as designed. Always rely on a professional to check your electrical components to avoid the risk of injury. A.B. May electricians can make sure that your home is securely wired and solve any problems that pop up this holiday season or any time of the year. We are here to help!