This season, keep things merry and bright by making sure your holiday lights are safe. Worn or damaged cords can pose a risk of electrical shock or fire.
Inspect all your seasonal lights, replace any faulty or broken bulbs and be sure the cords are in good condition before installing them. A little caution can help keep you safe all season long.
Not just during the holidays but when working on any kind of project around your home or property, remember there's more overhead than buildings, trees and sky. A ladder can easily reach high enough to cause potentially fatal contact with power lines.
Always look up before raising or moving a ladder, to make sure it's at least 10 feet from any electrical lines. Keep your eye on power lines and your mind working safely.
Electrical Cords and Outlets
Frayed or damaged cords present a hazard that could result in serious injury or death.
Always inspect electrical cords before use and repair or replace any that have become worn or damaged. Prevent straining and damaging cords by tying them together behind the plug. Be sure to connect and disconnect cords by grasping the plug rather than the cord itself.
Don't be tempted to keep plugging in devices and appliances until all the outlets in the power strip you're using are full. Power strip adapters do NOT increase the capacity of the wires in the wall or the circuit. An overloaded circuit can become a fire hazard.
Beware of how much electricity is being drawn by the combination of appliances connected to a power strip or adapter and limit the number of items connected to overloading the circuit.
- Check frayed or cracked wires on all light strands.
- Replace incandescent light strands with LED light strands to reduce the amount of heat generated by lights.
- Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
- Do not run extension cords under rugs or furniture.
- Keep all heat sources (space heaters) away from the tree.
- Do not burn candles near the tree.
- Unplug holiday decorations when leaving home or going to bed.
New Pet Gifts
Pets are often given as gifts during the holiday season. Make sure your home is prepared for naturally curious young animals that turn unexpected household items into play or chew toys.
- Keep electrical cords away from puppies or kittens so they won't be able to chew on them. Cover the cord with a heavy plastic sleeve or ask the pet store or Veterinarian for a bitter tasting product you could put on the cord.
- Make sure nightlights and appliances are completely plugged into wall outlets. Small paws or tongues can easily find partially exposed prongs that are a hazard for curious young animals.
- Be aware of using Halogen lamps. They can reach very high temperatures and if knocked over, could cause a fire.
- All appliances near sinks or bathtubs should be plugged into an outlet equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Playful pets can knock radios, curling irons and other items into the water, creating a dangerous situation. GFCIs stop the flow of electricity instantly if there is a problem, and when properly used, can save lives.
- Do not allow pets to curl up behind warm computer equipment for a nap. Teach them to stay away from all electrical connections.