Posted on: 30 November 2019Share
The holiday season should never be a time of tragedy. Yet, the combination of increased cooking and baking activities, along with the use of home heating appliances, holiday lights, and other decorations are associated with an increased instance of a house fire occurring.
Since many of these fires are found to have been caused by overloaded circuits, incorrect usage of appliances or extension cords, or faulty electrical products, these electrical safety tips are an important, and timely, reminder for keeping your household safe this holiday season.
Opt for an artificial tree
While real trees have an enticing aroma, they do dry out quickly and have an increasing risk of becoming a fire hazard as the season progresses. In homes where decorating begins weeks ahead of the holiday season, a safer choice is to choose an artificial tree that has been treated to make it fire-retardant.
Read labels and make good selections
Another important way to reduce the risk or experiencing an electrical fire over the holidays is to remember to always shop carefully for holiday lighting, extension cords, and any electrically-powered decorations.
Look specifically for electrical products that are labeled to show they have been tested and found safe by Underwriters Laboratories, a benchmark of safety in the electrical industry. Products that meet this standard will prominently display UL testing and approval on the label.
Additionally, those who are shopping for holiday lights and decorations will want to make sure that the product they are purchasing corresponds with the use they have planned for it. For instance, exterior lighting should only be powered by extension cords designed for outdoor usage. If the area where they are used is damp or wet, a waterproof, outdoor extension cord should be chosen.
Remember not to overload circuits
Electrical circuits that are overloaded produce heat and may melt or catch fire. The same problem can occur when using:
- overloaded power strips
- worn or faulty extension cords
- worn or damaged outlets
Homes that have an older electrical system or one that is too small may also be at higher risk of an electrical fire, especially during periods of higher usage, such as during the holiday season.
The best way to reduce the risk that you will experience an electrical fire in your home during the holidays, or any other time, is to have your electrical system inspected by a qualified licensed residential electrician. These experts can point out potential issues and help you find safe solutions to ensure that your holiday season does not include the tragedy of an electrical fire.