We work very hard during the holidays to make our homes bright and welcoming for friends, family, and celebrations. But with 30% of annual home fires occurring during the holiday season, electrical safety is something that should not be overlooked amidst all the excitement.
Here are some holiday electrical safety tips to keep in mind as you enjoy the company of your family and friends:
- Before setting up holiday lights indoors or out, check for frayed wires and broken bulbs, and replace strands that are faulty. If lights you've already set up start flickering, repair or replace them immediately.
- Don't plug too many lights into one outlet at the same time. Three is the max you should aim for. You don't want a Clark Griswold experience!
- Always unplug indoor and outdoor lights before going to bed or leaving the house. Set up a timer on your lights if you're worried about not remembering to unplug them.
- Be careful not to leave cords in places people may trip over them. Clear them off your sidewalk, and don't run them underneath your rug. Doing so might make your room look tidier, but someone is likely to trip on the bump.
- Never leave your fireplace or candles unattended. Keep candles out of your children's and pets' reach.
- It's not too late to have your furnace inspected! A properly maintained heater can keep your family safer and your home warmer - all while saving you money on energy costs.
- Outdoor extension cords should only be used outdoors and indoor ones for inside decorations. Outdoor cords should be plugged into GFCI outlets only.
- Never staple or nail through cords.
- If you have a real Christmas tree, don't forget to add water, daily if necessary, to prevent light bulbs from causing the tree to catch fire.
- Use safety caps on all electrical outlets to prevent young children from inserting objects that could shock them or start fires.