Holiday decorations like wreaths, lights and trees make your home festive over the winter holidays. Texas-sized decorations are commonplace this time of year but can be dangerous if not set up correctly. Electrical safety tips include watching for overloads, using the correct lights, shutting lights off, reading the lights labels and using ground fault circuit interrupters to keep your home safe and beautiful during the holiday season.
1. Don’t Overload Your Electricity
Remember that circuits have an amp limit between 15 and 20 and usually include several outlets and light fixtures. You shouldn’t plug too many decorations or devices into one electrical outlet. Outlets and extension cords have a wattage limit, which can overheat when reaching the limit. Plug strings of lights into multiple outlets to lower the risk of overheating and causing a fire. Remember to consider the wattage rating when choosing the decorations for your home.
2. Use the Correct Lights
An easy mistake to make during the holidays is using the wrong Christmas lights while decorating. Outdoor lights are unnecessary for indoor use, and indoor lights aren’t for outside. In addition, indoor lights can’t handle the outside elements and could cause an electrical fire. To use more Christmas lights in your yard, you could switch to LED lights. LEDs use less electricity and give off less heat than traditional lights.
3. Don’t Leave Your Lights on 24/7
Give your lights a break, especially during the holidays. The light show may be a source of joy, but constantly running the extra lighting and inflatable decorations can increase your energy bill. Also, shut your lights off when going to bed or leaving the house to minimize the risk of an electrical fire. Some decorations and Christmas lights even have a timer to lower the chance of overheating.
4. Check Your Christmas Light Labels
Underwriters Laboratories is a third-party organization that sets standards to prevent electrical fires in your home. Your device’s packaging, plug or cord can list the UL rating. Keep the wattages of your lights and decorations in mind when plugging them in. Use several circuits to help keep your home safe and remember the daily devices already in use.
5. Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
There’s always a risk of overheating, no matter the number of inflatable decorations and Christmas lights in your yard. The outside decorations and lighting can benefit from ground fault circuit interrupters. GFCIs will break the circuit to prevent electric shock when differences in a wire’s current occur. Any store that sells electrical supplies can sell portable ones.
You can endanger your home by ignoring electrical safety tips during your annual holiday decorating. Our electricians can inspect your home to help you understand your circuits’ capabilities. Call us at Legacy Electric for an inspection if you need a new circuit in San Angelo, TX.