Christmas is just around the corner and, with all of the joy that comes with decorating and preparing for the holiday season, it can be easy to forget about some of the safety standards that would not be overlooked at any other time of year. The parties, decorations, food, family, friends, and fun can often overwhelm us and make us completely forget about home electrical safety. At Expert Electric, we want to help people have a safe and happy holiday season with their families and friends, so we always make sure people are aware of Christmas electrical safety tips and pointers while they go about their holiday activities.
Holiday Electrical Safety Reminders
Between the lights, the tree, the gifts, the decorations, and the need for heat, the holiday season can provide many elements that affect electrical safety. There are a variety of different things that should be remembered throughout the Christmas season that will help to keep your home safe. Some of the areas to focus on include:
Christmas decorations are wonderful, but they can be a major safety hazard if not handled properly. Some safety hazards to focus on include:
If you are using a real tree, make sure that it stays watered, as a dry tree can be very flammable. If you have a fake tree, make sure that it is non-flammable. Keep your tree away from heaters, fireplaces, and candles. Before you string lights on your tree, check each strand for broken bulbs, frayed cords, or broken plugs to prevent an electrical fire. To give your home that extra bit of Christmas electrical safety, keep a fire extinguisher close to your tree.
Because Christmas lights can generate heat, do not ever leave the lights on your tree on while it is unattended. LED lights can greatly improve the electrical efficiency of your tree and reduce their risk as a fire hazard, as they give off almost no heat.
If lights are being plugged in outside on your trees, rooftop, doors, or driveway, make sure you have enough electrical outlets. Ensure that you do not overload your outlets and only use ground fault outlets. This will help to keep your home safe, as the lights will most likely be exposed to moisture. Also, make sure your extension cords are not a tripping hazard.
When hanging your lights do not use nails or staples that can penetrate the wires. If you pierce the protecting rubber and expose the wires it can lead to an electrical fire. The heat from the wires can heat up surrounding material and moisture exposure can cause sparks.
When hanging lights outside, ensure that they are rated for outdoor use. Some lights may be more delicate and intended for indoor use only.
Once the season is over, take down the lights on your home. Christmas decorations and lights were not designed to be exposed 365 days of the year. After a year of harsh weather and temperature changes, the wires can deteriorate. This means that next year you will have to replace your lights or could risk an electrical fire. Saving time by leaving your lights up can cost you money and time in the long run anyway.
As the holidays approach, the weather gets colder and that means that home heating becomes essential. Proper care should be taken with heaters to maximize holiday safety. Space heaters are a great way to heat targeted areas of a home, but they need to be used with caution. A space heater should never be left unattended and you should make sure that your heater is pointed away from walls and furniture, and that it is not near any sources of water. If you use a radiator to heat your home, keep your decorations at a reasonable distance.
Parties and Entertainment
Whether you are taking extra time at home over the holidays or hosting extra parties, it is important to remember to not overload your home’s electrical circuits. The extra strain on an electric oven or stove paired with any active entertainment systems can often put a significant strain on your circuit board, so make sure you are aware of what systems are running and which circuits those systems run on.
If you are interested in finding out more about Christmas electrical safety and how to best protect your family from electrical hazards over the holidays, or if you would like to learn more about the electrical services we provide, please contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338. From all of us at Expert Electric, we would like to wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas.