Electrical Safety for the Holiday Season

Everyone loves a beautifully decorated and well lit house on Christmas, but you should remember to keep safety in mind. A lot of lights, cords, and wires are covering your house, and although they are beautiful, you should be aware of what you are risking and maybe consider some alternatives. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you stay cheery and bright:

Don’t use Grandma’s old Lights - I know they may mean something to you and they might be charming and rustic, but they are not safe to use considering their age. You could be posing a risk. Instead consider using cooler LEDs that are longer lasting.

Keep Cords Together and out of the Way - Make sure all cords are out of the way of where people may walk so no one trips or rips the cords out. Consider tape or clips to keep them together and out of the way!

Damaged Goods - If it looks frayed or damaged in any way, don’t risk it! A skilled electrician might be able to repair any damaged cords or light strings, so consult one if you’re really insistent.

Don’t Overload - Make sure your cords can handle what they’re plugged into. Check the load rating. Otherwise you risk damaging your equipment or an electrical fire. Your house should have an electrical diagram that should help you to organize what goes into what and where.

Pinching - Make sure your cords aren’t pinched or tucked under furniture or doorjambs. This can damage the insulation and fray the wiring inside which is dangerous.

Be Wary of the Weather - Wind, snow, rain, and other weather conditions could pull your lighting loose and snag. This can set you up for dangerous situations like a fire or tripping hazard. Make sure your lighting is secure and use proper clips.

Watch out for Heat - Have your cords, trees, and other décor three feet away from heat sources so as nothing gets too hot. Check frequently to make sure nothing is heating up.

Keep reach away from Pets and Children - Curious mouths and paws might be reaching for cords and strands. Try using split loom tube to cover your cords as it will be harder to chew on. Tape down any hidden cords so they can be harder to access.

Outdoor Lighting - Use GFCI circuits, which are specialized to cut out when snow or rain creates hazard. You will need them for your outdoor displays. Some light bulbs are water proof or water resistant so opt for those in mind of the weather.

These are a number of ways you can make sure your house is as safe as it is beautiful this year and avoid any unnecessary electrical work. Your family should be able to enjoy the holidays without worry. If you have any questions about what you can do to keep your house safe from any other electrical problems, please contact an electrician.

Post by Mike Hoffman

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