Winter often means higher thermostat temperatures, illuminated Christmas trees in the living room, and extra time with your kids indoors. One aspect of the holidays that shouldn’t be overlooked is electrical safety. Here’s how you can protect your home and your family this holiday season!
Don’t Forget to Turn Off the Lights
With many homeowners decorating their homes with Christmas lights, it’s important to remember to always shut off these lights when leaving home for extended periods or when you go to bed. If your home has a real Christmas tree, stay on top of watering it. A dry tree next to heat sources or hot lights can lead to a fire. Don’t leave your tree lights on nonstop as this can cause the tree to dry out faster. In fact, about 25% of Christmas tree fires are due to electrical problems or heat sources.
Be Wary of the Location of your Cords
Holiday times tend to see more traffic within your home which could lead to tripping if cords are left out. Run your cords under rugs or furniture to keep them out of the way. Be sure you are not plugging in too many cords into one power strip or outlet as this can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Never exceed the maximum amount of light strands that can be connected! The manufacturer’s instructions should be included with your lights explaining the limit. Ensure extension cords aren’t damaged and that they aren’t hot to the touch when plugged in. As these cords may be something you only use once a year, give them a quick inspection before plugging in your holiday décor.
Pay Attention to the Source
Not all brands are created equal, and Christmas is a time that sees many counterfeit products out on the market. Pay attention to brand names and the source of products as cheap electrical products could not function properly leading to fires or shocks. Additionally, ensure you only ever use outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors.
The holiday season is a time when many families gather around warm fires or light scented and decorative candles. These open flames can quickly start a house fire if not monitored. Never leave a candle or fire burning in your home unattended. For décor, battery-operated candles are a much safer option. When using space heaters, be sure nothing is pushed against them and always turn them off when leaving.
Teach Your Kids About Electrical Safety
Kids home from school means they have more time to explore your home. Talk to your kids about electrical safety and explain to them the dangers and risks of outlets, cords, exposed wires, and damaged light strips. Store batteries out of reach of small children as they can not only be a choking hazard, but can cause internal burns.
Check Your Smoke Alarms
Did you know that statistically there are more fires on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve than on most other days of the year? Cooking, decorations, dry Christmas trees, and open fires help contribute to this number. When the holidays approach, be sure to check your smoke alarms. It’s better to be prepared in case of an emergency.