The holiday season is a festive time of bright lights and other eye-catching decorations. Electrical additions to Brandon, Florida, homes are common around this time. While most are perfectly safe, it’s always wise to brush up on your electrical safety around the holidays to make sure you’re doing it right.
Inspect Your Lights Closely
Christmas lights require a thorough inspection before hanging. Check for cracked sockets, frayed insulation, damaged wires, and loose connections. Look at the light sockets to make sure they’re not broken. Discard damaged lights. If your lights passed the initial inspection, plug them in for 15 minutes to make sure they work as expected.
When purchasing new lights, make sure you select a set that’s passed a professional inspection before hitting store shelves. These will feature a label from a professional independent testing lab. The UL or ETL/ITSNA inspects most lights. These labels are a good indicator of a safe, quality product that shouldn’t present any electrical dangers when used properly.
Watch for Trouble Signs
The holidays bring a host of new electrical items into the home, from miniature villages to dancing Santas. Be on the lookout for trouble signs like unexpected flickering, burning smells, tripped breakers, or warm outlets. If you notice sparks, hot spots, singed areas, or lights that dim and intensify randomly, you should contact a professional to take a look at the problem and correct any serious issues.
Pick the Right Placement
Keep safety in mind as you pick your tree placement. Remember that fire-resistant artificial trees aren’t fireproof. These trees are vulnerable to all kinds of fire hazards including hot electrical dangers like heating ducts, lights, and radiators. If you’re using a real tree, make sure it’s fresh. Live trees should have bright green needles and strong branches. If the needles pull away from the tree easily or you see a shower of dead needles on the ground, it’s too dry and unhealthy, making it a bigger fire hazard.
As you’re hanging your lights, make sure they’re fastened securely in place. Outdoor lights, in particular, need a stable place to hang so they’re not susceptible to wind damage. Check the labeling for your holiday lights to make sure you’re using them in the appropriate manner. Some lights are intended for indoor use only, while others are made for outdoor decorating.
Watch Your Fires
During the holiday season, you’re likely to light more fires, whether you’re stoking a roaring blaze in the fireplace or lighting twinkling candles around the home. Consider the location of fires carefully. A poorly placed fire can create an electrical hazard if there are wires or strings of lights nearby. Holiday lights strung around the mantle can get damaged by the fireplace flames if they’re too close to the heat. Make sure candles are far away from extension cords, light cords, and holiday light strands as well.
Set Lights on a Timer
There’s no need to keep your holiday lights on 24/7. Make sure your outdoor lights are programmed to turn off when it’s light out. You can use a timer that senses outdoor light levels and turns your decorations on and off at dusk and dawn. You can also use a timer to turn the lights off and on at particular times of the day. This will minimize your energy use and ensure that you’re not wearing out your lights faster than necessary.
Childproof Your Decorating
Whether you have children living in or visiting your home over the holidays, it’s important to make sure your lights are set up in a safe and kid-friendly manner. Carefully read the safety labels for all your electrical products this holiday season. Don’t place light strands or other potentially hazardous decorations at a level where children can reach them. Keep extension cords and power strips concealed. Plug all unused outlets, both in the wall and in power strips.
If you suspect an issue with your electrical system around the holidays, it’s crucial to contact a professional as soon as possible. Call Luminous Electric at (800) 956-8532 for prompt repair service and a knowledgeable approach to all your electrical issues.