Electrical Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Common Holiday Electrical Safety Hazards
Whether you deck the halls or set up Clark Griswold-inspired light displays, holiday decorating has become an important part of many families’ holiday seasons. While holiday decorating can be fun for the whole family, you should prioritize safety when installing. Many holiday decorations feature lights or electronic elements, while Christmas trees, wreaths, and candles may pose serious fire risks.
Common causes of house fires during the holiday season include:
- Christmas trees
- Balsam wreaths and swag
- Faux flowers, branches, garlands, and other floral décor
- Electrical shorts in lights
- Damaged or worn electrical décor
- Candles and incense burners
Electric blankets, heating pads, and space heaters are also common causes of house fires.
Make Sure Smoke Detectors Are Working
Your smoke alarms are crucial for protecting you in the event of a house fire. The start of the holiday season is a great time to test your smoke alarms to ensure they are operating properly. It is also a good time to ensure you have enough smoke detectors installed throughout your home. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, hallway, stairwell, living area, and kitchen.
If you are missing smoke detectors or have problems with your existing ones, give the electricians at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar a call. Our electricians provide exceptional smoke alarm installation and replacement services.
Tips for Hanging Exterior Christmas Lights
The first thing you should do before hanging your exterior holiday lights is to ensure that the lights you plan to use are rated for outdoor usage. Interior decorations and lights are not made to withstand bad weather and moisture. Therefore, using them outside may lead to serious hazards, including electrical shock and fires.
Once you have confirmed that your lights are rated for exterior use, inspect each strand for broken bulbs, fraying wires, or other signs of damage. Any damaged lights should not be used.
More safety tips for hanging exterior Christmas lights:
- Hang light clips where you plan to hang your lights
- If using a ladder, have someone help you hold the ladder steady and follow all safety guidelines for your specific ladder
- Do not hang lights in bad weather or after dark
- Do not use staples to adhere lights to your home
Can I Leave My Lights Up Year-Round?
It is not recommended that you leave your holiday lights and decorations up all year. Though designed for outdoor use, when string lights and other similar decorations are left out and exposed to the elements and large temperature fluctuations, they may become damaged and create electrical and fire hazards.
While some people permanently install string lights in their trees and patio areas, it is important that the lights you selected are not only intended for this use but that you check them regularly for burst bulbs and other damage. It is also recommended that you have these types of landscape lights installed by our professional electrician.
The Holiday Season
We are always excited about the holiday season. The season can bring many joys - from family gatherings to the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping!
We are also preparing for the change in HVAC regulations come January 1, 2023. In particular, the change in heat pump HSPF2 ratings will mean an increase in system prices. Consequently, we encourage customers who considering upgrades and replacements, to purchase and install heat pumps by December 31, 2022.
As the weather is getting colder, we are also spotlighting the importance of attic insulation. On the blog, we review not only how attic insulation works but how to know if your current insulation is adequate. Review our blog post for more information on assessing your attic insulation and how to approach insulation replacement or supplementation.Have questions about heat pumps, attic insulation, or the safe installation of Christmas lights? Call Valley and get help from one of our trusty team members. We have the tips and tricks needed to keep your home warm and bright all season long.