The holidays are just around the corner. That means Christmas lights – and lots of them! If you’re like most people, you love the glitter and sparkle of holiday lights.
What you might not realize, though, is that all those twinkling little lights could put your home at risk of power surges, sparks, and other electrical dangers. In fact, these electrical issues are incredibly common around the holidays: between 2011-2015, US Fire Departments responded annually to about 200 home fires that began with Christmas trees or holiday decorations!
So how do you ensure home safety this holiday season, even with that joyful wiring everywhere?
Here’s your complete guide to keeping your NW Florida home safe this holiday season.
Why Lights can be so Dangerous
Everyone loves Christmas lights. The gentle twinkle is magical and merry, and the light they emit brings people together to admire, play, and celebrate. That said, though, decorative electrical wiring, especially when done poorly, can cause power surges, flickering lights, sparks, and other issues.
If you think about how Christmas decorations work, you’ll realize that most of them are plugged in – both indoors and out. Many others are connected to your home via extension cords or lit with a flame. This creates a host of safety concerns.
Because of this, it’s essential to ensure you’re using the correct holiday decorations, and that your home isn’t at risk of fire this holiday season.
4 Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights
Keep your home safe this Christmas with these four holiday safety tips:
1. Contact an Electrician First
First things first – put your home through an electrical inspection. An electrician will inspect your home’s existing wiring and ensure there’s nothing faulty or dangerous. This, in turn, will help you start with a clean slate and avoid taking unneeded risks with your home’s holiday decorations.
2. Use the Right Light for the Job
Light strings and decorations are rated for either indoor and outdoor use. As you choose the decorations you’ll use on your home, select the right lights for the job.
Read package instructions and stay well within the recommended wattage. It’s far better to invest in new decorations than it is to cope with a house fire down the road. Bonus tip: obeying wattage recommendations will also help keep your Christmas energy bill under control.
3. Use Timers
Timers are a great way to turn lights on and off automatically, and thus reduce the risk of overloading your circuits or wiring. For best results, pick up some timers rated for indoor or outdoor use, and use them to keep your lights on a schedule.
Avoid connecting any more than three strings of light at any given time, and be sure to turn lights off when you go to bed or leave the house. Need help reaching those hard-to-reach decorations? Hook them up to an extension cord that you can unplug easily.
4. Keep Kids and Pets in Mind
Once you’ve decorated your home, keep kids and pets under careful watch. Watch that kids don’t put electrical decorations in their mouths and that pets are not chewing or damaging electrical cords.
Be sure to turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or when you leave the house.
Holiday Home Safety Starts Here
Keeping your home safe this holiday season is far from impossible. With these simple light safety tips, it’s actually well within reach. If you need help maintaining a safe home this holiday season, contact our team for an electrical inspection to get your holiday season started on the right foot!