How To Avoid Electrical Hazards During The Holidays
Tis the season …
If holiday decorating is on your list of things to do this year, do you know how safe your electrical displays truly are?
Most of us never think twice about stringing lights around the tree or attaching them to the windows and gutters of our home. We spend hours attaching them in many different ways – tape, hooks, staples, even nails – and then never think about the risks we’ve brought into our lives.
Unfortunately, these energy-thirsty decorations pose a variety of problems, including overloads, blown fuses and even fire.
How do you avoid all of this?
Hang fewer lights
Reconsider how you decorate your home for the holidays. In cases where you do want to use electrical décor, such as strings of lights, carefully consider where to apply them for the biggest impact. A simple and elegant string of lights from the eaves can still leave you in a festive spirit, without putting your home in jeopardy.
Use low wattage holiday lights
You may have had those boxes of incandescent strings of lights for years, but are they still safe? Consider replacing them with LED lights that draw much less energy, generate less heat, and reduce the risk of electrical overload and fire.
Spread electric decorations across multiple circuits
It can be tempting to find an extension cord and plug multiple sets of lights into one outlet, but how will your home respond? This can put enormous stress on a single circuit in your home. Instead, try spreading the load across several circuits to have less likelihood of failure.
Don’t used damage lights
When in question, throw them away. When holiday lights are used repeatedly, they are subjected to a large amount of wear. Strings of lights with frayed or torn insulation should be replaced. Exposed conductors drastically increase your risk of short circuits and fire.
Keep decorations away from hazards
The stockings may look great hanging from the fireplace, but they pose a serious threat when you have a fire. Avoid stringing garland and holiday lights above your mantle where you have the risk of melting. Also keep electrical decorations a safe distance from candles, stoves and heaters.
Choose non-electric holiday décor
The most effective way to avoid electrical problems is to reduce the amount of electricity you use. In many cases, holiday decorations look just as festive without lighting them up. When you do plug them in, make sure to unplug them before walking away.