It’s That Time of Year! Electrical Safety During the Holidays

It’s almost Thanksgiving time, and that means it’s almost time to pull out the holiday decorations. This means unloading box after box from the basement and attic, sorting through the mess of tinsel, ornaments, lights, and tissue paper. And as you and your family prepare your home for the holidays, there are just a few safety precautions you can take so that all the additional lights only bring your home cheer. Take a look below.

Check your decorations: Even though last year you were careful to pack up each decoration and label each box, you should still inspect every decoration that requires electricity. Over the years your home decorations will start to show some wear and tear, and if you are going to be plugging them in it is important to make sure that there are no bare or cracked electrical wires. Any damage to electrical decorations can start a fire.

Don’t overload your circuits: From Christmas tree lights to the dancing snowman to the Santa Claus that chuckles ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ your outlets are bound to get crowded this Holiday season. Overloading an outlet can cause a fire to start. Make sure there is only one high-wattage plug-in per outlet, and invest in some heavy-duty extension cords.

If you are using extension cords this holiday season, make sure you are using the extension cord for its proper use. There is a difference between an outdoor and indoor extension cord, as well as different cords for different amounts of power. You should check how much power the lights or decorations need, so that you can match it to the proper cord. Your extension cords also need to be placed in a safe location—they shouldn’t rest anywhere that heavy furniture can easily land on top of the cord and pinch it. And be careful not to place extension cords underneath rugs or close to heat sources.

Also, consider adding a new circuit just for Christmas lights. One of our most popular services during the holiday season is the installation of a new circuit homes. Having a circuit dedicated solely to Christmas lights can really diminish the clutter of wires and extension cords. Plus, that way you can put them on a switch—no more hassle of plugging and unplugging your Christmas lights, just flick a switch on or off!

LED lights: If you use a lot of lights every holiday season, you might want to consider investing in some LED lights this year. Unlike regular light bulbs, LED lights do not generate heat. This makes them energy-efficient, as well as safer. Also, LED light bulbs are not made out of glass, so they are more durable.

Maintain your tree: If you are getting a real Christmas tree this year, make sure to water it daily. A dry tree is a fire hazard. You also want to place the tree a safe distance from any source of heat.

The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. As you prepare your home for the holidays, double check that none of your decorations are creating a fire hazard. We at Hiller Electric want you to be safe as you enjoy your warm meals and hot cocoa by the fire. And if you have any questions, call us any time at (402) 339 0524.

photo credit: jspad via photopin cc