The electrical system powers holiday lights and decorations throughout the home, as well as large appliances and electronic devices. To ensure your holiday season is a safe one, take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Follow safety instructions for holiday lighting.
When decorating the home, make sure to use indoor lighting indoors and outdoor lighting outdoors. Avoid plugging in too many lights into a single outlet and overloading extension cords. Doing so could cause circuits to overload and create a fire hazard. Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) outdoors to power outdoor lights and prevent electrical shock from exposure to moisture.
Water the Christmas tree regularly.
If you’ve decorated a natural Christmas tree, be sure to water it regularly to prevent it from drying out and posing a fire hazard. Keep it away from outlets and don’t wait too long to throw out the tree once Christmas is over.
If you’re using an artificial Christmas tree, make sure it’s fire-resistant by checking the label.
Know the signs of an electrical system overload.
With most two-story homes equipped with 200 amp service, it’s unlikely for the entire system to be overloaded. However, it’s still important to know the signs. Frequently tripping circuit breakers, flickering or dimming lights, warm extension cords or outlets, and buzzing, sizzling, or humming sounds coming from lights or outlets may indicate electrical system overload.
To reduce the risk of an overload, replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. Don’t plug more than one power strip into an outlet and avoid plugging more than three sets of lights into one extension cord. Don’t string more than three sets of lights together.
Protect extension cords.
Inspect extension cords for signs of loose or bare wires or faulty connections. Keep cords away from doors, windows, and heavy furniture to avoid pinching and damaging the cord.
Schedule a professional inspection.
Tucker Hill has a team of licensed electricians trained to conduct professional inspections during the holiday season. Reach out to our team to schedule an inspection and to learn more about electrical safety in the home this time of year.