We’ve officially entered the most wonderful time of the year: the holiday season. There are meals to cook, decorations to hang, and plenty of friends and family to gather together. But in all this hustle and bustle, sometimes the last thing on our minds is safety. More home fires happen on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve than any other day of the year—many of which could be prevented by following a few simple electrical safety tips.
At Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric, we’re your hub for electric repairs, upgrades, and safety rules. To make the most of the merriment this year, here are a few things to keep in mind as you deck the halls.
Inspect Holiday Lights for Damage
Holiday lights can be expensive, so of course we want to reuse as many as we can from year to year. Before you plug them in, however, check for damage to the cords and plugs. Damaged electrical wiring is one of the most common electrical hazards that can lead to burns or shocks.
String lights do deteriorate over time, especially if left up for longer than the regular holiday season. Staples, nails, and even chewing from pets (or uninvited pests) can all damage a cord’s insulation, too. If a light or powered ornament’s cord is damaged, don’t try to reuse it—retire it and purchase a new one.
Be Smart About Electrical Outlets and Switches
Your electrical outlets and switches are only designed to power so much, and during the holidays, we tend to push them to the limit. Keep your eye out for any signs of damage around an electrical socket, such as:
- Outlets that feel hot to the touch
- Burn marks on the wall plates or burning odors
- Plugs that fit too loosely or fall out easily
- Cracked wall plates
Make sure that any outdoor electrical equipment is plugged into an outlet with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). If your outdoor outlets aren’t equipped with this vital safety feature, or if you find yourself needing a lot of extension cords, call an electrician to evaluate and upgrade your outlets to more safely meet your needs!
How many Christmas lights can you string together?
It’s best not to string together any more than 3 strands of holiday lights. Also, be sure not to overload extension cords: plugging too many electrical cords into one outlet can quickly cause a short circuit. Never plug one power strip into another, and avoid cube taps, or adapters that let you plug multiple cords into one outlet.
Only Purchase High-Quality Decorations
Everyone loves a good bargain, but when it comes to holiday decorations, make sure what you’re purchasing follows the proper electrical codes. If you’re shopping at a well-known retailer, you can feel confident the product has been approved by a certification agency (and it will have an approval mark to prove it).
Be careful when shopping online, as 3rd-party suppliers may not be as well-scrutinized. Always look for a certified seal of approval—and if you can’t find one, return the item to avoid the risk of electrical fires.
Revisit Your Child-Proofing Strategy
Electrical safety is certainly a family affair, and it pays to double-check or install child-safe light switches, self-closing outlets or other outlet guards, and electrical cord sleeves or other cord protectors. You can even purchase power strip covers to keep the little ones at a safe distance from multiple plugs.
Make sure any decorations with rocker switches are kept out of reach so they don’t become an enticing plaything—too much switching on and off can wear out the wiring.
Most importantly of all, have a conversation with your kids about your holiday decorations and the risk of electrical shock. Teaching a healthy respect for electricity with some yearly holiday safety rules can prevent many more accidents and emergencies than you might think!
Schedule an Electrical Safety Inspection
Our electrical systems take on more strain during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. It’s not just the addition of lights and inflatable lawn decorations—with more guests making merry and the latest and greatest gadgets being gifted, our electrical appliances work overtime in November and December. To get your system in top condition to handle the holidays, schedule an electrical safety inspection.
Bacon’s electricians are here to inspect your home’s electrical system ahead of the holiday rush, making recommendations for any repairs or upgrades you may need. We’ll check everything from your electrical switches to your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors so you can go back to dreaming of sugar plum fairies with ease. Friends & Family Plan members receive complimentary electrical inspections—learn more about the benefits and schedule your service today!
Licensed and Bonded Electricians in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
As a family-owned and operated business, this time of the year truly means a lot to us. We’ll do everything we can to help your family have a safe and joyous holiday season—and we do that by providing high-quality inspections, repairs, and installations on all your home’s systems. Call (972) 791-8332 or contact us online today to get your home holiday-ready!