As Christmas lights get brought out, we want to share some electrical safety tips to keep you safe this Holiday Season. The National Fire Protection Association reports that Christmas lights cause hundreds of house fires each year. Here’s how to avoid some fires and accidents:
1. Don’t Overload Outlets
It’s essential to spread out the electrical pull in the house. Don’t plug everything into the same outlet.
2. Use Up-To-Date Equipment
Try labeling your decor’s purchased dates. On average, replace lights every 4-6 years. Inspect your decorations for any exposed wiring or damage. If found, replace immediately and consider LED lights. If power strips are needed, make sure they’re new or in good condition.
3. Use the Correct Lights For Indoor/Outdoor
For the outdoors, make sure that you use lights and decorations that are rated for outdoor use. Putting indoor-only products outside in the weather can result in electric shock and fire hazards.
4. Turn The Lights Off
Never sleep with the Christmas tree lights on. If a fire occurs, it’s safer to be aware than asleep. You will have a better chance of putting the fire out before it gets out of hand.
5. Water Your Christmas Tree Daily
The quickest way to accidentally make your tree go up in flames? Let it go unwatered. Safety experts warn homeowners with real Christmas trees to frequently check that their trees don’t have “any tinder-dry areas.” Just one spark anywhere near dry wood can start a fire in a mere 30 seconds.
6. Never Use An Extension Cord Or Power Strip With Your Space Heater
When it comes to space heaters and extension cords, the two should never meet. “When you buy a space heater, it will come with a certain length of cord, and you never want to extend that by using an extension cord. When you extend the cord length, you overload the cord, and it gets hot. As a result, it can burn through a rug or the insulation and set something on fire, or create an electrical shock. And you never want to plug a space heater into any type of multi-socket power strip—you want to plug it directly into the wall.
7. Have Multiple Fire Extinguishers And Know How To Use Them.
TruPowur recommends not only keeping a couple of fire extinguishers in your home during the winter but also learning how to use them properly. Use the P.A.S.S. method: PULL the pin on the extinguisher; AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire; SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent, and SWEEP the nozzle side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.