5 Electrical Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

The countdown to the holidays is on, and that means it's time to get out your lights and decorations. Wow the neighborhood with a classic display of lights, but make sure you're careful to protect not only your home's wiring but your safety too. Enjoy decorating your home while keeping in mind these five safety tips.

1. Inspect All Decorations

Perform a thorough inspection of all your decorations before placing them on the inside or outside of your home. Look for any damage to the wiring. Damaged cords can cause fires and be hazardous for the person who plugs in the faulty decorations. If wires are frayed or damaged even slightly, you need to discard the decorations and purchase new ones.

2. Don't Overload the Outlets

Outlets are only designed to handle so much. It's important to be mindful of how much power you're drawing from the outlet. Find out what the outlets in your home are rated for and ensure that the load from the cords you're plugging in does not exceed this rated amount.

3. Make Sure Wires are Labeled Correctly

Outside wires will be labeled as such, just like inside ones are labeled. Look for the UL label to make sure the cords have been properly tested before you use them. Checking labels is important when it comes to adhering to electrical safety.

4. Know What Kind of Lights You Have

If you're connecting incandescent lighting wires together, it's important to connect no more than three strings. Stringing together more than three incandescent lights may overload your circuit. It's best to use another outlet for additional strings of light. LED lights, however, use 10 times less energy than incandescent bulbs, making them safer to work with in quantities. How can you tell the difference? Read the label or plug in a string of lights and wait five minutes before touching a bulb. If the bulb is hot, you have an incandescent string.

5. Protect the Extension Cords

Never place items on top of the cords, pinch them behind furniture or cause them to be cramped in a tight space. This can cause damage to the wire and increase the risk of fire. Keep your cords neatly tucked in, rather than bunching or shoving them into a tight space. Remember only use extension cords rated for outdoor use if you are using the cord outside.

For complete peace of mind when it comes to the health of your home's electrical system, contact Ragsdale today for a whole-house electrical inspection.

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