The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it is also important to keep your home and family's safety in mind. While decorating with twinkle lights can really add to the ambiance, it can be a fire hazard as well. Here are some important electrical safety tips to follow when decorating for the holidays.
Inspect the Lights Before Hanging
After you pull the strings of lights out of the storage boxes, take a few minutes to inspect them. This can help avoid serious problems after plugging them in. If it is a new set of lights, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for hanging them. Look at the string of lights to look for frayed edges or loose wires. Make sure all the lights are intact and not broken or damaged. If any bulbs need to be replaced, only use ones intended for these types of lights. Plug in transformers inside only, even if the lights can be used outdoors.
Know How & Where to Hang Lights
It is also crucial that you understand the safe way to hang lights so you can avoid causing an outage or other electrical problems. When holding the lights in place for indoor or outdoor use, don't secure them with nails or screws. Try to find insulated hooks that don't require piercing the cord or placing metal against the wires. If you have cords that are going across the ground for your outdoor light display, keep the plugs off the ground. This helps to prevent electrical issues caused by water or snow hitting the cords.
Avoid Overloading Outlets
Don't try to stick power strips into other power strips and plug in multiple things to a single outlet. This is going to cause an outage and can be a potential fire hazard. Be careful when using these power strips and try not to use all outlets at one time. Space the outlets being used in different areas of your home. Only use lights that say UL on them, which stands for Underwriter's Laboratories. They are safe and tested for use.
Look for Signs of Electrical Issues
Lastly, make sure you don't ignore potential electrical problems. Having outlets that suddenly stop working, sparks or weird odors when plugging something is could be an electrical hazard. If you have more than one thing plugged into an outlet and those lights or electrical devices keep going out, there is a short and the outlet should not be used. If any of these issues occur, contact a company like A.J. Palmer Electrical right away.