Just like that, summer has come to an end and the weather is finally starting to cool down. As we head into the fall season, there’s usually one thing on our minds, and that’s the holidays. While the holidays come with family gatherings, baking, and delicious home-cooked meals, it also comes with many homeowners’ favorite part, decorating. When we think of holiday decorating, we typically think of the lights we’ll be wrapping around the Christmas tree and hanging outside of our homes.
Although holiday decorating is a fun activity to experience with your family, there are still precautions to take to ensure you and your family’s safety. Before you start hanging up your holiday lights this year, we’ve made a safety checklist for you. Keep on reading and make sure you check this list off twice before the holiday fun begins!
This goes without saying, but always make sure any cords you are using for holiday lights stay away from water and metal objects. Before plugging any of your cords in, check for tears and abrasions. If you notice the cords are a bit worn out, don’t tape up the tears. You’re better off purchasing a new extension cord.
Pro tip: When it comes to extension cords, it’s recommended to use an outdoor rated cord as indoor extension cords can overheat and cause a fire.
Wherever your cords are located, always check that they will not be damaged or pinched by furniture and do not run under any rugs or carpeting. Cords that are damaged or shoved into small spaces are a fire hazard.
It can be tempting to try and plug as many cords into the same outlet as possible during the holidays, but overloading your outlets is a recipe for disaster. A big mistake many homeowners make during the holiday season is plugging multiple light sources into the same outlet as major appliances, which can result in an electrical fire. When it comes to outdoor lighting, make sure you’re using GFCI outlets as they will prevent shocking and are weather resistant.
Another light source homeowners love using during the holidays are candles. Not only do candles give off some light, but they also keep your home smelling great, especially if you love burning holiday-scented candles. While the warm scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin-scented candles keep your home feeling cozy, candles are a fire hazard if they are left unattended. This holiday season, consider using battery-operated candles for an additional safety precaution. If burning regular candles is a must for you, make sure you don’t leave them burning for too long and never let them go unattended.
Before you start decorating your tree, check all of the lights and make sure the wires are not damaged. If you’re using bigger light bulbs on your tree, don’t let them rest on the tree branches. Simply clip the lights to keep them upright or use a twist-tie. Although incandescent bulbs aren’t commonly used nowadays, some homeowners still prefer the look of bigger bulbs. If incandescent lights are your light of choice, don’t connect more than three strings of the lights together as this can blow a fuse.
Pro tip: If you want to change things up a bit this year, buy LED lights. They have a longer lifespan and don’t get warm to the touch.
This goes without saying, but make sure all of your lights are turned off and candles are blown out before you head to bed each night. You can also set a timer on your Christmas tree lights which will be a huge help. Lights that are left plugged in overnight are a huge cause of electrical fires during the holiday season.
For more electrical safety tips, Zar Electric has your back! Head over to our website to learn more about general safety tips for your home’s electrical system or give us a call at (919) 200-6551 if you have any questions on how you can stay safe this holiday season.