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Tips to Avoid an Electrical Fire This Holiday Season

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The holiday season is here and decorations are starting to go up around the neighborhood. While these decorations are made to handle some wear and tear, misuse can lead to dangerous fire hazards. To protect your home from possible electrical fires, utilize these holiday safety tips.

Basic Electrical Rules

  • Before purchasing any lights or decorations, make sure they each have a safety label to let you know the product is safe to use in or on your home.
  • Inspect every light, wire, and decoration before attempting to plug them into an outlet. Decorations with frayed wires, cracked/missing bulbs, and loose parts should be avoided and thrown out immediately.
  • Try to not overload a specific outlet with multiple decorations. Evenly spread them out across multiple outlets to prevent an overload on any specific outlet.
    Before leaving the house or going to sleep each night, turn off all electrical decorations. Any decorations that are left on for too long can easily overheat.

Outdoor Specific Rules

  • Before hanging any lights or using any lawn ornaments, make sure they are made to withstand the forces of Mother Nature. Decorations that are not made for outdoor use can immediately cause an electrical fire when they come into contact with rain and snow.
  • Use a ladder that isn't made of metal when hanging lights across the exterior of your home. This will decrease your chances of getting shocked while decorating.
  • No decorations, lights, or extension cords should be left where they can come into contact with standing water. If there is extra slack that leaves any cords sitting on the ground, find a way to suspend them in the air.

Indoor Specific Rules

  • Avoid buying a dry tree for the inside of your home. Look for the freshest trees when selecting one for your home. If you choose to purchase an artificial one, opt for the flame-resistant models.
  • If you go ahead and purchase a real tree, make sure to water it daily. Keeping your tree fresh and hydrated will decrease its chance of igniting when it comes into contact with a heat source.
  • Position your tree a minimum of three feet away from common indoor heat sources. Heat from fireplaces, radiators, baseboards, etc. can cause a tree to light up, but not in the decorative kind of way.

Decorating your home for the holidays is a fun way to bond with your family this season, just keep a few electrical safety tips in mind. When you need an electrician to install outdoor outlets or service your home's electrical system, contact Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (717) 207-9952.