For most, the holidays are a favourite time of year, and that’s especially true of our team here at TCA Electric. But as professional electricians, we also know this can be a dangerous time ripe for injuries, as millions of ambitious decorators become amateur electricians for a few days. Hanging Christmas lights and other holiday decorations doesn’t have to be a dangerous pursuit, though, so long as you exercise good judgment. So before you overload your circuits and have to start searching for the “best electrician near me,” here are some important decorating safety tips for the holidays.
Check your lights first
Strings of holiday lights are notorious for malfunctioning and going out, especially as they tangle and fray. Before decorating, take inventory. Discard any frayed or damaged cords right away, as these are dangerous and should never be plugged in. Next, test each item to make sure it works. If bulbs are missing or dead, replace them with extras. Finally, check your home’s power supply and make sure your electric panel is up to the task. If you experienced frequent blown fuses and tripped circuits last year, you should consider upgrading your panel before proceeding.
Be careful not to overload
Even if your electrical panel can handle all your holiday decorations, you should be careful with how you use extension cords and how many decorations are plugged into a single outlet. Overloaded outlets and cords can cause dangerous electrical fires, and any plug, cord, or outlet that becomes warm to the touch should be addressed immediately. Plug in your decorations strategically and spread them out rather than crowding in one or two outlets.
Think through the installation process
Plugging in lights and decorations is, in large part, all about “location, location, location.” That is, you need to be mindful of where everything is being plugged in, where cords are going, and where lights are placed. We’ve covered the important tip of not overloading plugs already. You should also be mindful of any extension cords you use. Make sure they’re kept clear of foot traffic – you may even consider taping them to keep them clear of walkways. Make sure Christmas lights are kept clear of paper, fabric, and other materials that may be a fire hazard when exposed to heat. As long as you map out your decorations carefully, you’ll be able to plug in everything safely and make your home look festive.
Exercise caution outdoors
Of course, folks aren’t just decorating the inside of their homes for the holidays – a fun tradition many of us love here at TCA Electric is to see how everyone decorates the outside of their homes. Outdoor decorations introduce additional hazards, however, so it’s important to use caution when stringing lights and placing decorations outside. For one, do your homework and make sure any decorations you put outside are approved for exterior exposure. Any electrical components you put outside – such as lights and inflatables – should be plugged into GCFI (ground fault) outlets, which protect against water. Finally, if you’re going to put any decorations higher up, make sure you know the dos and don’ts of using a ladder.
TCA: The Best “Electrician Near Me”
The holiday season is a time for celebration and festivities, but it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to decorating your home. If you follow these tips, you can deck the halls with minimal risk – and take pride your final product. If you’re in need of electrical work before getting started, TCA Electric is the best “electrician near me” you’re looking for. Contact us today! Our experienced and professional team knows how to update your home’s electrical systems to support even your most ambitious decorating vision.