During the holidays, most of us end up using additional electricity in our homes. While a lot of it goes towards keeping rooms cozy and illuminated for houseguests, we also use extra power for decorations to help “make the season bright.”
Just make sure that you don't forget to put safety first during your holiday festivities! Here are a few tips to help.
1. Protect Your Tree
If you have a real tree for Christmas, then you need to make sure there is plenty of water in the tree stand. This will prevent the branches from drying out and possibly igniting from the heat of the Christmas tree lights. You might also consider switching out your traditional string lights to an LED version. Not only are LED string lights more energy-efficient, but they also emit less heat.
2. Don’t Overload Receptacles
Hopefully, scenes like these from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story” aren’t familiar sights in your home! It’s never wise to plug several cords into one receptacle. This could trip your circuit breaker or even cause an electrical fire.
If you have electrical decorations that you want to display or if you use space heaters that plug into a wall, consider getting a surge protector. This can keep the receptacle from shorting out and will usually prevent the items plugged in from becoming overheated and sparking a fire.
3. Don’t Leave Lights On
Try not to leave lights on overnight or when someone isn't home. Also, remember to check the cords of lamps and holiday lights to ensure that they aren't frayed. Avoid putting cords underneath items (such as rugs) that could cause them to overheat.
Nails and similar items shouldn't be used on cords as they could cause an electrical shock or spark to occur at any time, which could then result in a fire. Make sure to drape lights and cords in an area where there is plenty of space surrounding them.
4. Keep an Eye on Pets
Cats and dogs always love to investigate the Christmas tree each year, but that initial interest can get dangerous. Keep an eye on your pet to ensure that they aren't chewing on your string lights. You'll want to inspect the part of the cord within their reach for any telling teeth marks. Additionally, make sure your tree is firmly held in place to keep your pets from knocking it over.