Holiday lights can be very beautiful, and hiring an electrical contractor to install your holiday lighting system may not have been a consideration. Each year, during the holiday season, there are hundreds of fires caused by electrical outlet overloads. The dangers of the season may be overlooked in the spirit of creating a beautiful environment for the holiday.
Even if you don't hire an electrician to install your lighting, you may want to have an electrical contractor evaluate your outlets and electrical system before determining where to put the tree. It may also be prudent to have service upgraded before the holidays if you plan on putting on an extensive lighting display.
There are a few tips to avoid having a dilemma or catastrophe during the holiday season:
- Don't overload the outlet. Using an extension cord will increase the number of plugs you can utilize, but don't start daisychaining these extension cords to create a fire hazard.
- Buy UL Aproved holiday lights from a reputable vendor and make sure that they are UL approved. With so many dollar outlets importing low cost items, it may seem that you are getting a bargain, however, the concern over lead in addition to poor construction may lead to other problems. Better to pay a bit more and get lights that are approved for use in your home by Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
- Keep the tree from drying out, but beware of standing water and electricity.
- Unplug your tree when you are not home. Yes, it's beautiful, but if something happened and you are not there to react, it could be the end of the holiday.
- Watch pets around wires, especially young puppies and kittens. Puppies tend to chew, and even kittens have been known to try to chew on wires. They also may like to try to climb the tree which can become dangerous if the tree falls over.
- Be aware of tripping hazards. With the strands of lights and extension cords, you may want to use some electrical tape or duct tape to secure the electrical wiring to the floor and prevent tripping hazards. Particularly if your relatives may need to use a walker, wheelchair or cane, this would be critical. They may not see the cord, and then may fall.
Holidays can be safe when you take the precautions of thinking through your holiday plan and planning how and where you want to plug in that tree with the holiday lights. If in doubt, call a licensed electrician to help and advise for the best and safest holiday season!
Columbia NW Heating Inc. specializes in efficiently upgrading or repairing air conditioning, heating, gas furnaces, heat pump, ductless heat pumps, tankless water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, electric furnaces, air filtration systems, oil furnaces, gas fireplaces and inserts, and all systems related to the comfort of your home or office in Portland and surrounding areas.