Holiday Lighting Safety
There is no doubt holiday lights add magic to your home and yard. Unfortunately, they can also increase the risk of electrical fires, shock and injury if not used safely. One of the most common practices during the holidays is overloading electrical outlets with too many electrical decorations with the use of extension cords. The safe practice, is to determine the number of outlets required, and assessing the number available. Our electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide the installation you require.
When the outlets are insufficient you do have other options without increasing the risk of fire. Few homes rarely have the required outlets for large outdoor displays; contacting Mister Sparky electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL for outlet installation is an option. However, reducing the number of required outlets is possible.
LED lights last 20 times longer, have significantly higher energy efficiency, and are cooler than traditional incandescent lights. For example, a typical 100 watt light set uses about 40 watts to a a comparable LED light set using about 7 Watts. They are made with epoxy lenses rather than glass and are much more durable. In other words, you would have to use 6 LED 100 light sets to approximate the same use of a single incandescent set. Whereas traditional lights can rapidly overload a circuit, you get more for the money with LED lighting, and with less heat comes a reduced risk of fire. Check the energy use of lighting, and the circuit provided to ensure you don’t overload the circuit. Mister Sparky electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can upgrade your electrical system to provide your needs.
In addition, purchase from trusted retailers to avoid the risk of receiving counterfeit products. You should also send warranty and product registration forms to manufacturers in order to be notified in the event of a product recall.
Check Safety Endorsements
Use decorations and lighting approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CSA Group, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Avoid overloading electrical outlets as this can cause them to overheat and start a fire. Ensure cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, and don’t mount light strings in a way that may damage the cord’s insulation such as stapling them. If you are overloading outlets with extension cords, consider using battery or solar operated outdoor lighting, or contact Mister Sparky electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL for a solution.
Remember to unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses, and to turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday decorations and lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.
Purchasing a Tree
When purchasing a natural tree, look for a well-hydrated pliant tree with fresh green needles that are difficult to pull from the branch and don’t break easily. The presence of a sticky trunk at the cut also indicates a higher likelihood of freshness. In addition, a tree stand should hold enough water to hydrate the tree. If you are having to water it everyday and it is dry each time, the tree stand is insufficient. Consider an artificial tree, over time they will cost you 70% less in just 10 years according to the American Christmas Tree Association.
Furthermore, locate the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources. If you are unable to locate your tree in the best location due to a lack of electrical outlets, contact our electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL for installation.
It is also wise to test all smoke alarms before the holiday season and replace the batteries if required. Fire safety includes candle use. Never leave an open flame unattended, and extinguish all candles before you leave the room or go to bed. Furthermore, place lighted candles away from combustible material and areas where they might be knocked over. Finally, never use burning candles on or near a tree or other combustible substances. They should be located at least 3 feet from any combustible source, including fire resistant trees. Consider the use of realistic battery operated candles for the highest safety.
Inspect all electrical decorations and lighting and replace any with cracked, frayed, or otherwise damaged or deteriorated insulation, or plugs.
Outdoor Lighting Tips
The above recommendations include outdoor lighting. However, before placing any decoration or using any lighting outdoors, check the packaging or label to ensure it is for outdoor use. In addition, outdoor lighting and decorations should be plugged into ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Mister Sparky electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide the installation for you.
Extension cords are typically used in outdoor displays. Snaking across lawns in every direction they are a fall, fire and potential shock hazard. Our electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can install GFCIs for you to reduce the cord tangle big displays create on the ground. When using extension cords and electrical decorations for outdoor decorating, match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with the amperage rating of extension cords. Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of wet conditions.
The holidays are often the only time we see distantly located friends and family, ensure it is a happy time by following safety recommendations. If you need additional outlets, contact Mister Sparky electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL for professional installation you can rely on. Our licensed electricians have the expertise to ensure reliable electrical services, backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today to schedule service.