The holidays are a time of festivity and celebration, so it’s no surprise that many of us go all out with the decorations. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the busiest times of the year for firefighters. As it turns out, those benign little lights can pose a serious electrical hazard when proper precautions aren’t taken.
So before you flip the switch and enjoy your hard work, make sure you’ve followed these simple electrical precautions and safety tips. Not only will this help you stay safe from fires and electrical shocks, but it will also ensure that your lighting display lasts throughout the holidays.
Christmas Tree Precautions
If you’re using a real Christmas tree, then make sure to water it regularly once it’s in your home. Dry trees are a major fire hazard because they catch fire within seconds. Tests conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) showed that dry trees flashed out in less than a minute, while well-watered trees burnt at a much slower rate, giving people more time to put out the fire.
Additionally, ensure that your tree is placed at a safe distance from heating units, curtains, candles, and electrical outlets.
Lighting Safety Tips
If you’re re-using lights from the previous year, check each strand to make sure the wires aren’t frayed or damaged at any point. Exposed wiring is a leading cause of electrical shocks and fires, and you want to prevent that from happening. Additionally, you can also add fused plugs to the lights as an additional layer of safety to prevent sparks.
Check the lights before putting them up and replace any burned out bulbs. When putting up lights, never use nails, tacks, or screws—always opt for insulated hooks to prevent short circuits.
Extra Precautions for Outdoor Lighting
If you’re using extension cords, make sure they’re elevated above the ground to prevent water or debris from causing damage to the outlet. It’s recommended that you plug in all outdoor lights into the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, as they’re designed to cut the power supply when a short is detected.
Make sure you’re using lights that are suitable for outdoor use. Although most lights are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, indoor-only lights have much thinner insulation that can be easily damaged.
Get Expert Electrical Services Now
To ensure the safety of your electrical systems before the holiday season kicks in, get a consult from a reliable electrician. RHK Electrical offers high-quality electrical services for homes in Magnolia, TX. Our experienced electricians carry out a thorough electrical safety inspection of your home, address any pertinent wiring issues, and recommend the right lighting solutions for you.
For more information, call +1 832 948 6019 or contact us.