Most people love the festive holiday season, particularly because it brings about an opportunity to decorate the interior and exterior of their home. From sparkling Christmas trees to porches draped in twinkling lights, there is always another spectacular way to decorate. Unfortunately, this is also a prime time of year for electrical fires and mishaps.
You need to know how to prevent some of these disasters from ruining your holidays so before you plug in those Christmas lights, here are a few electrical safety tips:
Inspect Your Decorations
Your decorations have been stuffed away in boxes in the attic or garage since this time last year. There’s no telling what sort of damage may have been done to them through normal wear and tear or by small critters who got to them. Make sure to thoroughly inspect all of your decorations before hanging them. Look for damaged sockets, loose wires, bare wires, and loose connections. If you encounter any of these issues, replace your holiday lights.
Stringing Together Lights
It may be tempting to string together as many lights as possible, but keep it to three strands at a time. Connecting more than three strands together can blow a fuse and cause a fire. In a similar vein, you should also refrain from overloading electrical outlets. Only one high-wattage appliance should be plugged into an outlet at a time. This means that if the Christmas tree is plugged in, your television needs to be plugged into a different outlet.
Water the Tree
If you keep a live tree in your home for the holidays, make sure that you water it daily. A dry tree wrapped in Christmas lights is a major fire hazard. By keeping it watered, you prevent the possibility of a spark sending the whole tree up in flames.
Turn Decorations Off at Night
Not too many people are going to be up and around to enjoy the beauty of your Christmas decorations in the middle of the night so give those electrical cords a break and unplug them before you go to bed. Make sure to blow out all of your candles (or better yet, switch to battery-operated ones!) and turn the lights off on your front porch. The majority of home fires take place at night, so you are minimizing your risk of a home fire by turning off those decorations when you’re sleeping.
Keep Back from Heat Sources
If you have combustibles in your home, keep them far away from your hot lights and other decorations. Space heaters and other items should be kept at least three feet away from your other decorations.
Call for Professional Help
If you think that your electrical issues could use a little professional help this year, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Powertec Electric, we have a team of qualified electricians who can help you get your home ready for the holidays without you having to worry about the possibility of a house fire.