Electrical Safety: Holiday Decorating Tips
Electrical Safety: Show Your Holiday Spirit, Safely
The Holiday Season is upon us and indoor and outdoor decorations are on full display. It is important to stay safe when installing those fabulous decorations to ensure that the season stays jolly. Here are some tips to keep your holiday decorations functioning properly while keeping you and your family safe.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) monitors house fires that originate with Christmas trees. According to their studies, “fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires with Christmas trees per year between 2013 and 2017, which is the NFPA’s latest data.
These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of these home Christmas tree fires.” (source: https://www.nfpa.org/)
Electrical Safety Indoor Holiday Season Lighting Tips
- Purchase your lights and electrical decorations from reputable retailers
- Look for the UL (Electrical Safety Foundation International) approval on all lights
- Never connect more than three strings of lights together
- Consider LED lights that use less energy and do not get as hot as incandescent lights
- Plan your decorating to efficiently use outlets and not overload any outlet
- Before installing, thoroughly inspect each set of lights for any frayed wiring, damaged plugs, loose connections, or broken bulbs to reduce the potential of shock or arching to start a fire
- Do not overload outlets or electrical devices that can overheat and start a fire
- Avoid letting cords get crimped or smashed and bent by doors or heavy furniture to prevent damaging the cord’s insulation
- If your Christmas tree is real, keep it well-watered so that it won’t dry out
- When leaving your home or going to bed at night, make sure that your lights and electrical decorations are turned off
Electrical Safety Outdoor Holiday Season Lighting Tips
- Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting outlet so that any shorts or overloaded circuits will trip the GFCI breaker before causing damage
- Keep cords and decorations out of walking areas and driveways. Do not drive over an electrical cord to prevent damage to the wire and insulation
- Notify your lawn care of any cords that could be cut or damaged during yardwork
- Use ladder safety precautions when hanging light to prevent falls and serious injury
- If you use staples or metal fasteners to secure your lights, make sure they don’t damage the cord’s insulation
- 10% of fireworks fires occur during the period from December and January. So if you are using fireworks aim projectiles away from homes, cars, and trees
Have questions about electrical safety
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