The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means tons and tons of festive Christmas decorations. Three in every ten fires during the Christmas season are the result of faulty electrical safety. Keeping your home, family, and yourself safe should come before those pretty twinkling Christmas lights. This does not mean that you should not decorate for the holidays, of course, it just means that little touches like Christmas light timers and dedicated circuits can save you from an electrical fire that can result in thousands of dollars in damages, serious injury or even something as serious as death can occur. Below are some safety tips to consider when decorating your home for this Christmas season.
The most important step you can take to ensuring yoru home and family is safe is to install a dedicated circuit for Christmas lights
Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions on each electrical device you are putting up, follow their instructions for use and for caring for your decorations.
When purchasing new lights, consider going with LED lights instead of the traditional incandescent lights. They use less energy than the traditional lights and run much cooler than those as well.
When buying new lights or extension cords or replacing old lights and extension cords, make sure you check the UL sticker on the packaging to see if the electrical item you are purchasing is for indoor use only – green – or indoor and outdoor use – red.
When decorating, consider running all of your decorations on a dedicated circuit to avoid blowing fuses on other circuits and switching the decorations on and off easily.
Do not damage the insulation around the wires that your decorations have while hanging them. Be careful to not staple through the plastic coating to avoid exposure of the wires below. Also, make sure that the cords to the lights are not caught under windows, doors, or heavy furniture to avoid damage to the insulation around the light’s wires.
Turn off all lights inside and outside your home before leaving or going to sleep at night. Consider investing in a timer for your Christmas lights so you never forget to do this.
When replacing bulbs or fuses within your Christmas decorations, make sure that they are unplugged before doing so.
Avoid putting too many lights and other decorations plugged into the same electrical outlet. This can cause the outlet to overheat and can be extremely dangerous and result in an electrical fire.
When you take your Christmas decorations out of storage for the season, before plugging them in, be sure that each decoration is not in any way damaged and the wires are not exposed beneath the plastic coating.
Never connect more than three strands of incandescent Christmas lights together.
Always purchase your Christmas decorations from a reputable retailer.
Christmas is the time for decorations and twinkling lights. Do not let a small mistake ruin your holidays with an electrical fire that could have been prevented. Keep your family, and your home, safe this holiday season – and free of electrical fires – with these simple tips.