Eight Electrical Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Holiday Safety Tips

DEC. 1, 2019

The holiday season is festive, fun, and exciting. However, it is also too often a time of fires, fatalities, and injuries. We all look forward to decorating and cooking during the holidays, but we should do so safely. 

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Home electrical distribution and lighting systems are the fourth leading cause of home fires, after cooking equipment. Also, roughly 5,800 people per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. 

Therefore, our team has provided eight electrical safety tips for you and your family to follow to ensure this holiday season is a safe one. If you have any questions or issues regarding your home's electrical system, please contact us today.

  1. When using a ladder,

  • Make ladder is properly rated and in good condition. Look for loose or missing parts, cracks in the rails, or bent rungs or other parts.

  • Never stand on top two steps.

  • Use on solid ground.

  • Use the correct length for the job.

  1.  When installing outdoor Christmas lights

  • Check that no ice or wind is present.

  • Ask someone to assist you. Team up with a neighbor or have an older child or spouse assist. They can hold the ladder, be a spotter, or simply provide an extra set of hands or eyes.

  • Do not use indoor power strips outdoors for decorations.

  1. When decorating indoors, be mindful of where lights are installed. Some lights can get very hot and cause fires if close to paper or other combustibles. Turn off decorations and lights at night.

  2. Buy a fire resistant tree, or find the freshest tree. If you’re shopping for an artificial tree, make sure you purchase one labeled “fire retardant.” This means the tree will resist burning and can be extinguished quickly if it does catch fire. If you decide to use a real tree, make sure you find one that’s fresh. It should be green with needles that are hard to pull from the branch and bend instead of break. Once you bring the tree home, stick it in water to keep it fresh. Do not allow your tree to dry out, as this makes it more prone to catching on fire. 

  3. Test your smoke detectors. Make sure your smoke detectors are working and have good batteries.

  4. Always inspect your cords before use. Do not use damaged cords with cuts or exposed wiring. Check that they are GFCI protected.

  5. Hide cords from traffic. They can become damaged or cause a tripping hazard. Keep all cords and wires off ground and out of wet areas.

  6. Don't overload. Lots of holiday decorations require the use of extension cords. It is very easy to use multiple splitters to get the number of outlets needed. This can be very dangerous. Circuits can become overloaded and become a fire hazard. Read the manufacturers recommendations for connecting lights and other decorations end to end and do not exceed those recommendations.