With Christmas just around the corner, it can be easy to forget about the safety standards that should not be overlooked at any other time of the year.
Holiday Electrical Safety Reminders
Between the lights, the tree, the gifts, the decorations, and the need for heat, the holiday season can provide many elements that affect electrical safety. There are a variety of different things that should be remembered throughout the Christmas season that will help to keep your home safe. Some of the areas to focus on include:
If lights are being plugged in outside on your trees, rooftop, doors, or driveway, make sure you have enough electrical outlets. Ensure that you do not overload your outlets and only use ground-fault outlets. This will help to keep your home safe, as the lights will most likely be exposed to moisture. Also, make sure your extension cords are not a tripping hazard.
When hanging your lights do not use nails or staples that can penetrate the wires. If you pierce the protecting rubber and expose the wires it can lead to an electrical fire. The heat from the wires can heat up surrounding material and moisture exposure can cause sparks.
When hanging lights outside, ensure that they are rated for outdoor use. Some lights may be more delicate and intended for indoor use only.
If you are using a real tree, make sure that it stays watered, as a dry tree can be very flammable. If you have a fake tree, make sure that it is non-flammable. Keep your tree away from heaters, fireplaces, and candles. Before you string lights on your tree, check each strand for broken bulbs, frayed cords, or broken plugs to prevent an electrical fire. To give your home that extra bit of Christmas electrical safety, keep a fire extinguisher close to your tree.
Because Christmas lights can generate heat, do not ever leave the lights on your tree on while it is unattended. LED lights can greatly improve the electrical efficiency of your tree and reduce their risk as a fire hazard, as they give off almost no heat.