Preventing Holiday Light Hazards

This holiday season, when so much has changed, lights feel more important than ever. Light displays can brighten spirits and enliven the holiday spirit, but if you’re not careful, they can be dangerous. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires each year, and lighting accounted for 44 percent of Christmas tree fires. Make sure to keep your family safe this holiday season by following some simple best practices for your holiday lights and decorations.

  • Use the right lights for the job. Never use electric lights on a metal tree because you’ll risk electrical shock and fire. Use inside lights inside your home, and outdoor lights outside. Holiday lights are not interchangeable: lights made for outdoor use can withstand cold and wet conditions, while indoor lights are made so that they don’t pose a fire hazard to Christmas trees.
  • Be wary of discount décor. Cheap lights are not such a bargain if they’re a fire hazard. Only buy lights approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), because these lights have been inspected for potential safety hazards.
  • Check for damage before you string them up. Make sure there are no frayed or cracked wires, and that each socket has a bulb. Throw out damaged strands and replace them.
  • Use common sense. Don’t hammer nails or tacks through the electrical cords, but instead use clips to safely attach lights to the house. Don’t run cords through windows or doors because this can damage the cords, and be aware of your ladder and decoration placement, staying clear of overhead power lines. Don’t twist, kink, or crush cords, and keep them out of walkways. Keep your tree well hydrated so it doesn’t become more flammable.
  • Check your extension cords. Use heavy-duty extension cords and only use outdoor extension cords outdoors. Don’t plug in more than three sets of lights per cord, and make sure your outdoor lights and inflatables are plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
  • Make use of a timer. Don’t leave your lights plugged in overnight, instead using a timer to turn them off before you go to bed or when you’re not at home.
  • Be mindful of fire hazards. Candles are beautiful but should only be lit safely away from the Christmas tree, your curtains, and other flammable things. They should never be left unsupervised. Keep your tree a safe distance from the fireplace, too.

Whenever you need help with the electricity in your house Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling is here for you. Since 1980, Hoover has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan, offering courteous, professional service. Because we offer all the services you need for residential maintenance under one roof, we’re able to offer extremely competitive pricing while maintaining great customer service and guaranteed satisfaction. When you’re looking for top-quality electrical, plumbing, heating, or cooling services in Clinton Township, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.

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