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Electrical Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Nothing brightens long winter nights like the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree or long strands of lights hanging from your home. But whether you go with a couple strands of LEDs or you’re trying to be the next YouTube sensation with a million blinkers set to music, safety should be your top priority. Injuries, fires or worse should never be a holiday tradition in any family!

To help make your holiday festive, bright and safe, Certified Electric Inc offers these electrical safety tips for the season:

Basic electrical safety applies year round!

The National Fire Protection Association’s Electrical Safety in the Home program offers some key tips that you should follow whether you’re installing the best outdoor display in the neighborhood or the fancy TV you picked up on Black Friday. Avoid running extension cords in areas where they’ll be stepped on and make sure your ground-fault interrupter switches (GFIs) are working correctly.

Keep trees watered and fresh

The NFPA says an average of 230 home structure fires per year start with dry natural Christmas trees that weren’t watered regularly. Home fires that start due to a Christmas tree are three and a half times more likely to result in a death than other structure fires. Water natural trees daily and turn off the lights before you go to bed or leave the house.

Inspect your lights

Holiday lights are notorious for getting tangled in storage. The same friction that sends them into knots can also wear the wires and cause a short when plugged in. Never pinch the wires by running them through doors or windows and make sure outdoor lights aren’t being rubbed between tree branches in the wind.

Plan your displays based on your circuits

Look on the box or label to see how much electricity each giant inflatable Frosty or string of icicle lights needs. Add these up to make sure you aren’t overloading your outlets. And remember that multiple outlets can be on the same circuit. Not only could you blow a fuse or trip a breaker, but faulty or worn wiring can start a fire before those safety measures can step in.

Those viral videos of epic computer-controlled displays may be fun to watch, but they usually had additional circuits installed by a professional electrician to carry the load. But even more humble and tasteful displays can overload home circuits if you don’t follow these tips. Certified Electric Inc wants you to be safe and your home to be there in one piece when it’s time to plug in your new gifts the day after Christmas, and every day after that!

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