Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Christmas lights! Whether on your house or on the tree, no holiday tradition is more magical and bright this time of year.
And while the warm glow of twinkly lights is something many of us look forward to in December, it is not without risk. Faulty or overloaded electrical wiring and malfunctioning holiday decorations are the reason behind many electrical emergencies and house fires this time of year. Situations that are largely avoidable with a few safety precautions to help ensure this year's lighting display is both beautiful and safe.
Always inspect lights and cords for damage. Frayed wires, broken or cracked sockets, or loose or unstable connections can cause fires so be sure to look carefully and discard damaged sets as they can cause shocks or start a fire.
Make sure exterior lights are designed for outdoor use. Not all lights can handle the winter elements, so ensure the packaging states where lights can be used - indoors, outdoors, or both.
Plug lights directly into the electrical sockets rather than relying heavily on extension cords. Employ surge protector strips if there are not enough outlets available as this helps avoid overheating.
Get in the habit of routinely checking the temperature of all electrical cords and outlets. If a cord feels hot to the touch, unplug immediately and find a replacement.
Do not leave lights on when no one is home or when you are heading to bed for the night. Unsupervised lighting is an unnecessary fire risk as well as a drain of resources.
Replace burned out bulbs with bulbs of the correct wattage. Bulbs of an incorrect size can create over-heating and potentially cause a fire.
Consider replacing any old style Christmas lights with cooler burning, energy efficient LED bulbs. You will save on your electric bill, and reduce the risk of fire from overheating.
Only use plastic or insulated holders when hanging light. Never use nails or staples as they pose a risk or shock, sparking, or damage to your holiday lights.
Use extension cords properly. Outdoor rated cords can be used either outdoors or indoors but indoor rated cords are restricted for indoor use only. Also, don't hide cords under rugs or in areas where they can be a tripping hazard.
If you have a breaker that keeps tripping, do not ignore it - it requires attention. The circuit may be overloaded or the breaker may be in need of replacement.
If you require more information or help with the safe installation of any electrical components in your home or business, get in touch with the Blais Electric team today
Blais Electric | Guelph, Ontario | 519-766-2940 | firstname.lastname@example.org