Holiday electrical safety tips

The holiday season is an amazing time of year – one filled with family, joy and happiness. But it also comes with its fair share of pitfalls and by pitfalls – we don’t mean shopping snafus.

Did you know that according to the US Fire Administration that one in every three Christmas tree fires are caused by electricity? It’s pretty wild when you think about it. That being said, it’s not the holiday season without your lights – and today we’re going to talk to you about how you can keep those lights but also some advice on how you can be a little bit safer with regards to how you install and display them during the holiday season.

Fire resistant trees

We know some people are natural Christmas tree fundamentalists, but for those of you who do elect to go the plastic route – make sure you purchase one that’s ‘flame retardant’. It doesn’t necessarily mean the tree can’t catch fire – but it will do a much better job of resisting burning and in the event it does go up – the fire can be put out quickly. With natural trees you (as we’ll explore here in a second) are susceptible to all sorts of potential hazards – so plastic trees are without the shadow of a doubt – the safer route.

Buy a fresh tree

Trees can dry out and when they dry out – they pose a significant safety concern. If you’re determined to go the natural route – that’s fine – but make sure you buy the freshest tree you can possibly find. You can test the tree’s freshness and overall health by pulling on the green needles. If they’re difficult to pull from the branch and bend rather than break; then you’ve got a good tree. Once you’re home make sure it finds water immediately.

Always check your lights

Christmas lights should always be tested before they’re placed on your tree to ensure that they’re functioning properly. You can do this by checking for frayed wires or cracked cords as well as checking the strand to make sure you don’t have any blown bulbs. Even if your lights have a little damage – throw them out. It’s not worth the risk. Lights are affordable – so make sure you go the safe route.

Check your labels

Also be sure to read your labels, too. Believe it or not – there is a big difference between outdoor and indoor lights and knowing how to spot that difference can make a big difference in the level of safety threat your lights present. Indoor lights should have a green holographic UL sticker somewhere on their cord. Outdoor lights should have a red sticker. Use both accordingly.

Be mindful of your power strips and cords

Whether it’s your tree or your outdoor display – you’re going to be using a lot of wires and plug space will be at a premium. Be sure you are mindful of where your cords are and how much they’re being used. If you feel chords getting warm, unplug them. Check your cords every now and then and especially if you’re outdoors – to make sure they’re not being trampled, sitting in snow or any place they could spark and cause a hazard. And above all else- don’t overload your outlets!

Simply follow these tips and you should be well on your way to a happy, healthy holiday. If you have any questions or want some friendly advice on how you can make your home safer this holiday season, then give us a call today. Good luck!