Electrical Safety Tips for a Festive December

With December’s arrival comes the joy of decorating your home for the holiday season. However, the increased use of lights and decorations also poses a potential risk of electrical hazards if proper precautions are not taken. As you unpack your Christmas decorations and prepare to adorn your home, it’s crucial to follow essential electrical safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for you and your family.

Maintaining Holiday Lights: Inspect your holiday lights annually for any signs of wear such as frayed wires or broken sockets. Before hanging them, test each light string to ensure they are in good working condition. Only use lights that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory like Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).

Proper Connections: Avoid connecting more than three strings of lights together and refrain from routing extension cords under rugs or near walkways. For outdoor decorations, ensure that electrical connections are kept off the ground and clear of downspouts, railings, and aluminum siding.

Choosing the Right Lights: Opt for lights and power strips specifically designed for outdoor use when decorating outside your home.

Safe Usage Practices: Always turn off or unplug holiday lights when not in use, especially late at night or when you are away from home. Consider using a timer to automatically control the lights based on a predefined schedule. Additionally, use nonflammable decorations, and if using an artificial tree, select one that is labeled as fire-resistant and has a UL certification for built-in electrical systems.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 400 home fires each year are attributed to holiday lights and decorations, resulting in significant property damage. By adhering to the electrical safety tips outlined above, you can help prevent potential fires and ensure a safe and festive holiday season. Consider making electrical safety a year-round priority by ensuring that your home’s electrical system is in optimal condition.

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