31 Tips to Prevent Electrical Hazards During Holidays
Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area have to offer.
It’s surprising how common electrical hazards are during holidays. Our favorite electrical decorations are capable of causing fire, electrical short circuits, and other electrical hazards if not used carefully. An empty socket of a plugged-in light series, damaged electrical cord, overloaded outlets are all disasters waiting to happen. In order to enjoy your holidays without worrying about any electrical hazards, read the precautions listed below to know how to prevent electrical hazards. These given tips are bifurcated in 3 stages.
01. Before Installing the Lights
02. While Installing the Lights
03. After installing the lights
In this article, given electrical safety tips of various lights like incandescent lights, bubble lights, micro lights, rope lights, mesh lights and luminaries etc. which are used in decorations of Christmas tree and indoor or outdoor Christmas decorations.
Before Installing the Lights
01. Lights and electrical decorations are common sources of electrical hazards if neglected. To ensure that they don’t ruin your holidays, only purchase those products which are marked safe for use by a trusted testing laboratory.
02. If wet climate can be a problem, ensure that the lights are waterproof.
03. If you’re using light strings from the previous year with burnt-out bulbs, replace the bulbs right away. Do not plug in light strings with empty sockets. Also, ensure that the bulbs you choose for replacement are of the correct wattage.
04. Read the instructions carefully before installation. If you use indoor-only electrical products in the outside weather, it may result in electrical shock or fire. Check the color-coded UL mark on the product package. A green mark means it’s an indoor-only product and a red mark means that it is safe for indoor as well as outdoor use.
05. To preventing electrical shock, inspect all the lights, electric decorations, and cords for worn out or broken pieces. Do not use such damaged products because it will not only damage the entire string of lights but can also lead to a fire.
06. Verify how many strings of bulbs can be connected end-to-end. Usually, it is 3.
While Installing the Lights
07. Avoid using metal ladders to reach the high-up spots since they conduct electricity and can lead to serious electrical shocks. Instead, use a fiberglass or wooden ladder.
08. Use protective devices such as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). The purpose of GFCI is to break the circuit every time there is an imbalance between incoming and outgoing current. The GFCI outlet safeguards electrical wiring and receptacles from overheating. It reduces the risk of electrical shocks and fires caused by an electrical short circuit. It even detects ground faults and disrupts the flow of current in such risky situations.
09. Do not hang lights near items that may trigger a fire such as space heaters, candles, fireplaces, etc. Ensure that if you use any bulbs for home decoration, they aren’t placed too close to paper or any other flammable materials.
10. Don’t use electrical decorations on a metal Christmas tree. There are several risks associated with this combination and the chances of a spark, shock or fire are high. If you are purchasing an artificial Christmas tree, choose a fire-resistant variant.
11. Avoid pinching cords under heavy furniture or in doors and windows as this may damage the cord’s insulation and pose a risk of spark or shock.
12. Do not plug in several lights or other electrical decorations into a single outlet. Overloaded outlets or plug points can overheat which may trigger a fire.
13. If you’re installing spotlights to illuminate the decoration, ensure that it is set up in a well-ventilated area and is at a safe distance from any flammable items.
14. Don’t use nails or staples to hang up your Christmas lights since they conduct electricity. Ensure that you only use insulated holders specially designed for electric work.
15. Use grounded extension cords verified for safety. And ensure that they don’t get overloaded with more wattage then they are designed for.
16. Ensure that the connections are up in the air and not on the ground.
17. Avoid crushing or twisting cords.
18. Do not mount light strings since mounting may damage the insulation of the cord.
19. For special decorations that are plugged in bulb holders, don’t use more than two in a single strand.
Also Read: 12 Tips to Prevent Fire at Our Home
After Installing the lights
20. Avoid using candles. Choose battery-operated candles instead.
21. Do not drape light bulbs in anything for aesthetic purposes. Heated bulbs may result in a fire.
22. Ensure that all outdoor light strings and extension cords are away from standing water or snow.
23. To avoid electrical hazards, keep lights and other electrical decorations away from children as they are likely to be attracted to such shiny and sparkly items.
24. If one or more bulbs in the string burn out after the decoration is up, replace them immediately. A couple of burnt-out bulbs may not affect your decoration but empty sockets can be dangerous. Also, ensure that you select the replacement bulbs that have the correct wattage that matches the light string’s wattage.
25. Always unplug the string of lights before you begin replacing bulbs or fuses.
26. Switch off the lights while going to bed or stepping out of your home.
27. Don’t leave the light installed for long after the Christmas season. If the decorations are up for a long period of time, their shelf life will automatically decrease and increase the risk of mishaps.
28. After taking down the decorations, store them in a dry place, away from open flames and heat sources.
29. To prevent the Christmas tree from catching fire because of light decorations, buy a fresh tree. A fresh Christmas tree is green and sticky with resin at the bottom.
30. Ensure that the tree stand has enough capacity for water. An average 6-feet natural Christmas tree absorbs a gallon of water a day. And before you set up the Christmas tree, cut it 2 to 3 inches at the bottom of the trunk to expose the more absorbent wood. This way the tree won’t easily catch fire since its water intake would be improved.
31. Do not throw wrapping papers in the fire inside the fireplace. A flash fire may ignite suddenly and cause the decoration nearby to catch fire.
To summaries the above tips, by following or keeping in mind all above steps will help you to know, how to prevent electrical hazards and go a long way in ensuring that your home is safe for you and your family during holidays. Happy holidays!
Image Courtesy – Image 1