Decorating is one of the best parts about the holidays! Many Christmastime décor items require electricity or batteries, so it’s important to brush up on safety concerns before accidentally pulling a Clark Griswold this season.
1. Check Lights First.
Unravel your string lights and plug-in decorations. Plug them in and look for burned out lights, frayed wires, and broken bulbs. Unplug the lights and replace the bulbs that you can before decorating.
2. Ladder Safety.
Whether indoors or out, if you’re going to be climbing up a ladder be sure to use proper safety measures. Never stand on the second-to-last step and be sure your ladder is placed in sturdy spot. If possible, have someone with you while using a ladder.
3. Weather Watch.
If you’re putting decorations up outside, try to do it on a day that’s free of snow, rain, or ice. Even if the sun is shining, it’ll most likely still be cold, so be sure to bundle up!
4. Don’t Overload Outlets.
Remember not to try and plug too many cords into one source of electricity. Even in the middle of winter, this can lead to overheating, which can lead to fire hazards.
5. Christmas Tree Safety.
It’s reported that Christmas trees are the cause of 210 house fires each year! If you’re purchasing an artificial tree this year, make sure the label reads “fire resistant.” This indicates that the tree is not as prone to getting overheated as others may be. Place your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat sources. If you have an artificial tree with metallic pine needles, don’t use string lights or electronic ornaments. If purchasing a real tree, check the tree for freshness – never purchase a dry tree!
6. Turn Out the Lights.
It’s a good idea to turn off the electrical decorations when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping to save power and to prevent possible overheating. Check your decorations to see if they have timers and use them to your advantage!
7. Avoid Using Candles When Possible.
There’s something cozy about the flicker of a flame, but if you can avoid using real wax or soy candles, do so. Use battery-operated ones instead if you like the look of having lots of candles throughout the house.
8. Switch Over to LEDs.
The incandescent lights of Christmases past are nostalgic and traditional, but they put out more heat and use more energy than LED lights do. Consider making the switch to save you money and lower your chance of fire or overheating.
9. Utilize GFCIs.
Any outdoor decorations should be plugged into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If your home doesn’t have these, you can purchase portable ones from any store that sells electrical supplies.
10. Wrap Up the Holidays.
Christmas decorations are temporary decorations, so make sure to take them down after the holidays (no later than the first week of January) to ensure the life of your décor and the safety of your home. Make sure you inspect your lights and cords before packing them away and be sure to store electrical decorations in a dry area.
From our family to yours, we at Magic Valley Electric wish you a very happy – and safe – holiday season!