Electrical Safety for the Holidays

Holidays and Electrical Safety
Holidays and Electrical Safety

Few people would disagree that the holiday season is pretty much the best time of year. Parades, family celebrations, wide-eyed children, midnight masses, and parties to rival every other season … this is truly the stuff dreams are made of. However, if you’ve got electrical hazards from all those lights, powered toys, and Christmas decorations, your holiday dreams could end in a nightmare. To avoid risk, it’s vital that you safeguard every room of your home and every inch of holiday decoration in order to ensure the security of your loved ones and your house. Following are tips that will help you achieve a total safety zone in your home from threats such as fires and electrocution, as well as choking and swallowing hazards due to electrical toys, lights, and other decor.

Indoor decorations

Many indoor Christmas decorations can cause electrical hazards, especially when they’re old or in disrepair. The important things to remember when decorating with electricity are to test, inspect wires for fraying, and make certain you have enough safe electrical cords and outlets.

The first step in ensuring electrical safety while decorating for the holidays is to test, test, test. Christmas lighting, animated decor, and other items that are powered by electricity all must be tested for safety before placing them on display, especially when children are involved. Wires and cords are the first and most hazardous means of electrical fires in holiday decorations. That’s why it’s vital that you check every wire for fraying and other exposures. If you find exposed wires, either throw the decoration away or find a licensed electrician in Atlanta to fix it properly. WARNING: NEVER attempt to fix ANY electrical gadget yourself, unless you are a trained, licensed electrician. Electrical fires and electrocutions cause the holiday season’s most fatalities.

  • It’s also vital that you check out all glass and plastic casings that surround the light fixtures inside decorations to make sure there are no cracks or breakage. Additionally, like Clark Griswold, you must check each and every one of those twenty-five thousand imported Italian twinkle lights (and all other types of lights as well). Thankfully, with the newest gadgets on the market that allow testing of an entire strand of lights at one time, it’s not necessary to test each light separately.

Be sure to stock up on enough surge protectors and safe extension cords in order to eliminate the need to overload outlets.

Most electrical fires start with a spark at the Christmas tree. Christmas lights that go on the tree must be in optimal condition in order to adorn the most hazardous decorating area in your home. Never decorate your tree with lights that are in sub par condition. Unless you’re a licensed electrician or you take them to a licensed electrician for evaluation, lights that have frayed wires should be tossed out immediately. Additionally, whether the tree is inside the home or outside, Christmas tree lights should always be turned off when no one is home or when everyone has gone to bed.

Outdoor decorations

For many people, avoiding hazards inside the home is a given. However, fires and electrocutions can occur from decorations that are on display outside your home as well, especially if there’s ice or snow.

  • Outdoor decorations need proper surge protectors and electrical cords. Today’s holiday decoration industry contains many items that are specifically designed to go outside in all types of weather. It’s never wise to stretch extension cords from inside the home to outdoor decorations. Instead, invest in surge protectors and other electrical gadgets that are designed to go outdoors and stay outdoors for the duration of the season.

Be sure to keep cords out of pathways, walkways, and driveways. Hazards from electrical cords aren’t only caused by fires or electrocution. Tripping over cords, especially in ice and snow, have been known to cause injuries and even fatalities.

When hanging holiday lights or other decor, always make sure the cords are firmly attached to the house or other stable structure such as a garage or standing post made specifically for holding outdoor decorations. Lights that are swaying in the wind can cause fires and electrocution, especially since they are subject to becoming frayed and damaged.

  • Frayed cords are an exceptional hazard in winter due to snow, melting ice, and other moisture. Never use any electrical decorations that have frayed or exposed wires. Additionally, check them often throughout the season to make sure damage has not occurred, especially if your area has had high winds, snow, or other inclement weather that can damage cords.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, but only if you take all the necessary precautions in order to avoid hazards that can occur from electrical toys, decorations, and other assorted baubles. No decor or trinket is worth risking the safety of your family, and that means that there is no measure you will hesitate to take to ensure the security of your loved ones. If you have more questions about how to eliminate electrical hazards in your home during the holidays, contact a licensed electrician in Atlanta before you embark on holiday preparations.