celebrations blogHoliday hazards: How to stop electrical fires

holiday stocking and lights
Lights on the Christmas tree, electric candles in the windows, strings of lights plugged into each other outdoors. While it’s all very festive it can add up to a dangerous combination.

“Electrical failures or malfunctions are a leading cause of the home fires caused by Christmas trees and decorative lights,” said Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

Follow these guidelines to avoid a decorating disaster in your home:
  • Water a live tree every day. Mist the branches with a spray bottle.
  • Don’t leave your tree lit if you will be away from the house for more than a day.
  • Use timers to automatically turn lights on and off. This may keep them from overheating.
  • Check your electric extension cords and light strings. Make sure there are no exposed wires.
  • Don’t overload the outlet or extension cords. Use a power strip that will trip off if too much power is drawn.
  • For outdoor decorating, make sure the lights, extensions and timers are approved for outdoor use.
Planning for safety make keep your holidays from going up in smoke. “Simple precautions such as watering live trees each day, discarding frayed or damaged cords and not overloading electrical outlets can help prevent these fires,” reminds Brenner.

In addition to fires, ungrounded outdoors can cause shocks to you, your children or your pets. Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) receptacles (or portable GFCIs) to prevent electric shock.

Visit www.holidaysafety.org for more holiday safety tips!

For more tips on switching to cool energy-saving LED decorating lights, watch this video
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