The holidays are a time of delicious food, great songs, and decorations. For some of us the biggest thrill is from those dazzling Christmas lights. If you’re setting up Christmas lights, pay attention to electrical safety. Here are a few of the biggest holiday electrical hazards:
The Wrong Kind of Lights
Indoor lights are often not waterproof or safe to use outside. Outdoor lights sometimes get hot, causing a risk of fire or damage. Always check the packaging of any lights and decorations before you set them up.
Counterfeit or Unsafe products
Electric decorations should be marked with a certification such as “UL” for the Underwriters Association. Throw away decorations that don’t have these compliance marks, or look dangerous. Don’t give them away or leave them where someone may take them.
Faulty Extension Cords
Before plugging in any electronics, check that your extension cords are in good shape. Visible wiring and frayed casing are electrical hazards.
If you have several decorations or devices plugged into a single outlet, you risk overloading the outlet. This can lead to a fire or an outage. Space out your decorations so they draw power from separate outlets, and only use power strips that are in good condition.
Leaving Lights On 24/7
It’s best to run your lights when someone is home and alert to monitor them. This way, if a problem occurs, it can be tended to quickly. Don’t go to sleep with your Christmas tree lit.
Outdated Lights or Equipment
Even if your older lights look fine, they may be more likely than newer ones to cause electrical hazards. Older lights use incandescent bulbs, which burn hot and can cause a fire when clustered on a dry tree or near drapes, wrapped gifts and other flammable objects. LED bulbs are cool to the touch, have a longer lifespan and are less likely to start fires. By the way, keep your tree sufficiently watered so it’s less likely to catch fire.
Connecting Too Many Cords
Avoid stringing more than three strands of lights together end-to-end. Otherwise, you run the risk of sending too much current through the wires, leading to potential fire hazards or blown fuses.
If you have small children or pets, try to keep all your electrical cords and plugs away from those curious fingers and mouths. Also be sure your cords are not pinched by hard furniture or closed windows. Avoid using thumb tacks or staples if they will pierce the cord. Instead, drape lights over hooks or place staples across, rather than through, the cord.
For all your electrical needs, call Hoover Electric. Established in 1980, Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan ever since, 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 and Troy, MI, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.