Most of the year, we focus on being a commercial electrical company. However, when the holidays roll around, we all go home, and decorate our own homes with lights, lights and more lights, and because we know that all those twinkly lights can come with some hidden risks, we decided to share our top Christmas light safety tips. Here is what you need to know:
- Do not overload circuits. If you need to plug many strands of lights into an outlet, use a power bar.
- NEVER run power cables, including those for lights, under carpets or anything else. People may unknowingly damage the cables with chairs or otherwise, and that can cause fires or shocks.
- Space your lights evenly. Bunching them together not only ruins the look, it can also make the lights overheat, with potentially dangerous consequences.
- If you are putting lights on your Christmas tree, try to keep them a little separate from ornaments, again to prevent overheating.
- Only ever use lights and cords designed for exterior use outside. Interior lights and cords cannot be used outdoors!
- Make sure that you check all light strands and cords for fraying, cracks, cuts or signs of damage, and if you are in any doubt, do not use them.
- Never leave a Christmas tree lit while you are out or asleep. It only takes a few minutes for faulty lights to start a fire that can burn your house down or worse. Do not just turn them off either. Unplug your tree lights when you are not in the room.
- If cords start feeling warm after a period of use, stop using them. Do not coil cords up while lights or other items are turned on either – this can cause the cord to overheat dangerously.
- NEVER modify electrical plugs to remove the ground pin. Buy an adapter if your plug does not fit the outlet.
- Consider buying mini LED lights. They burn cooler and use much less power.
- Never use angel hair and spray on snow together, as this can be a flammable combination.
- Avoid metallic ornaments with lights. If there is a wiring fault, those ornaments could become live conductors.
- Only use hangers designed for lights when installing. Nails, tacks and staples can all damage insulation, and that can be potentially hazardous.
- Only use stable ladders to install lights on roofs, maintain three points of contact, and have someone help you by holding the ladder for you.
- If you have a real tree, dispose of it soon after Christmas, in a safe manner. Christmas trees tend to contain a lot of tree sap, and sap, dried needles and flaky bark are all ideal fire starters!
That is it for our Christmas light safety tips, but we would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and your staff a happy holiday season, and we hope to keep servicing your Commercial, DataComm, and Residential electrical needs in 2016!