When it comes to decorating for Christmas, electrical safety is likely the last thing on your mind. So many lights to go up and so little time! Lights on the house, lights in the yard, lights on the tree, lights on the mantel, lights everywhere! With so many lights and decorations going up both inside and out, it’s important to review some practical tips about electric safety – and to know when it’s time to call in a professional. The technicians at Home Service Heroes have put together a few key tips to keep your Tampa home safe this holiday season.
Tip #1 – Double-Check Those Decorations
After spending a year coiled up in some dusty box in a corner of your attic, do yourself a favor and double-check all your electrical decorations for damage before plugging them in. Check for damaged sockets or any decorations with loose wires to avoid potential shock or a possible fire hazard. Make sure to read any care instructions included with your decorations before installation and follow all the provided guidelines for set-up from the manufacturer. When purchasing new decorations, double-check that they carry a label from an accredited testing agency. If a label is not present, that could mean the product has not been tested for safety and could prove to be dangerous and unsafe to install in your home.
Tip #2 – Practice Safety with Plugs & Extension Cords
One of the most common causes of holiday fires is overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords. If you have fuses that are frequently blowing or circuits that are constantly tripping, it’s likely that too many items are connected to the circuit. When installing indoor decorations, be mindful of where you run your extension cords. Don’t run them under carpets or through doorways, and avoid placing them anywhere they could be damaged by furniture.
As you are plugging in your decorations, never remove the third prong on the plugs, it’s called the “grounding pin” as it prevents shock in the event your electrical equipment malfunctions. For all of your outdoor decorations, be sure and plug them into ground fault (GFCI) outlets. Always Install your outdoor decorations above ground and keep them away from puddles. Don’t run your decorations across driveways or walkways to prevent potential damage or malfunction. Also, keep an eye on babies and make sure they don’t put decorations or cords in their mouths. Same with pets, they have been known to chew on and damage electrical cords.
Tip #3 – Practice Intelligent Installation
When stringing lights inside and outdoors, make sure the bulbs do not touch any cloth, paper, wire, cords, or anything else that’s not part of the light strand.
In most cases, three strands of light are the max that can be safely connected, so read up on all those instructions when connecting multiple strands. When hanging, secure your lights safely with the proper clips, and pass on using things like staples or nails that could damage your cords. We all have those neighbors who keep their Christmas lights up well beyond when they should. These decorations are not made for year-round use and deteriorate over time, so for safety purposes, they should be taken down after the holidays.
As you install your holiday lighting and decorations, a little safety and common sense should help you along the way. If you encounter any electrical issues, call us at Home Service Heroes. Our highly skilled technicians have the expertise to diagnose any electrical problem you may encounter and provide a quick repair! Get peace of mind for the holidays and call (813) 696-3398 to schedule an appointment today!