Safely decorating your home for the holidays should be the top item on your holiday wish list. To have a healthy and happy holiday before you deck the halls, follow these important tips to keep your tree glowing and outdoor lights impressive.
Christmas Tree Electrical Safety
Check all your lights for any damaged plugs, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Light string defects may possibly cause fires or electrical shocks. Make sure the lights and decorations have certification labels from UL, CSA or other accredited inspection agencies. Look for lights certified as safe for indoor use. You might want to use LED lights which are cooler to the touch, more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs, and do not leave any empty sockets.
When using extension cords, make certain cords are not a tripping hazard across open spaces. Do not place cords under rugs, by any heat sources or attached to any metal, such as staples or nails. As well, uncoil extension cords completely before use.
Turn off all electrical decorations before going to sleep or leaving home. Keep Christmas trees and wrapped gifts at least three feet from heat sources, such as space heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Don’t let young children and pets play with or pull on Christmas lights.
For a live Christmas tree, check for freshness and refill the tree stand daily with water. If using an artificial tree, choose one with a fire-resistant label, and avoid hanging lights on artificial trees with metallic branches or leaves. And, of course, a good rule of thumb any time of the year is to test all smoke alarms and replace batteries if not functioning.
Outdoor Decoration Safety
Be certain extension cords and electrical decorations are rated for outdoor usage and inspect for any damage before using. All outdoor lights and extension cords should be plugged into GFCI protected outlets for safety. Avoid plugging in more than three light strings to a single extension cord. Do not extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.
Keep lights and cords away from standing water and securely fasten lights to trees, shrubs and your home’s exterior to protect from wind damage. Use only fiberglass or wooden ladders when hanging electrical decorations outside. Metal ladders will conduct electricity. If you use spotlights for illuminating decorations, make sure they are protected from weather conditions and a safe distance from flammable items.
Have a joyous holiday season. For your holiday electrical questions, call Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.