Electrical decorations are a great way to get into the joyous spirit of the season but failure to properly install them can pose some pretty serious risks. According to recent data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home-based electrical systems are the cause for nearly 55,000 fires a year, resulting in over 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. Furthermore, electrical fires cost a whopping $1.4 billion each year in property damage.
At Douthit Electrical, electrical safety and your satisfaction are always our top priorities. We understand how important the holiday season is, and our experienced electricians are happy to help with your electrical holiday lighting in Charlotte.
Whether you’re hanging a few lights or creating a spectacular lighting display that’ll leave the neighborhood Joneses green with envy like the Grinch, here are a few easy ways to avoid common holiday electrical problems.
Inspect your electrical decorations
You won’t be able to safely put on much of a holiday lighting display with electrical decorations that are worn, frayed, or otherwise damage. Considering it’s likely you haven’t seen them since last year, it’s important to closely inspect your electrical decorations for signs of wear, such as torn insulation which can drastically increase the risk of short circuits and fire. Repair or replace any faulty equipment before installing it.
Use the right kind of lighting
The best kinds of electrical decorations are those that have been approved and tested for safety by a nationally accredited laboratory such as the Underwriters Laboratory. Look for the seal of approval on the packaging. In addition, never use lights and electrical equipment designed for indoors use only outside. Looking for ways to save on lighting energy costs? Consider using energy efficient, low wattage LED lights instead of old incandescent lighting. Not only do they use less energy, but they also produce less heat, reducing the risk of electrical fire.
Avoid using the same outlet
It can be tempting to string holiday lighting and decorations together from the same outlet, but spreading electric decorations across multiple circuits is the safest way to install them. Plugging too many things into the same outlet puts a significant amount of stress on the circuit and may cause it to overload or worse, spark a fire.
Consider using a timer
Leaving electrical decorations unsupervised can be potentially dangerous as they can become overheated due to being left on for an extended period of time. Use a timer or be sure to remember to turn the lights off before bed or when leaving the house.
Exercise caution in all areas
A jolly “ho-ho-ho!” can easily turn into a big “Oh-no-no!” if you aren’t careful! In fact, hospital emergency rooms experience an influx of patients with injuries related to hanging — or falling over — holiday decorations during this time of year. Never use a metal ladder when hanging or taking down string lighting to reduce your risk of electrical shock or fire. Always keep walkways shoveled and when necessary, tape cords down to prevent falls. And remember to always keep your tree watered! Fresh, green trees are far less likely to ignite than dry, brittle ones. Buying an artificial tree? Make sure it’s fire-resistant.
Our electricians want you to have the happiest and safest holiday possible. We understand how frustrating and intimidating troubleshooting electrical problems can be, so never hesitate to give us a call for all your Charlotte electrical needs, both big and small!
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