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Deck the Halls…Safely

If you’ve ever seen “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” you’ll know that Clark Griswold’s perception of Christmas decorating is a bit extreme.  Although that movie is comical, in reality electrical safety is no laughing matter, and an electrical fire can ruin your holidays instantly.  Here are a few holiday decorating safety tips.

  1. Check your smoke detector. The holidays are a great time to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detector is working properly.  Studies have shown that when houses have working smoke detectors, the chance of death from fire is cut in half. Having all of your loved ones in your home can be a great reminder of the importance of fire safety.
  2. Buy the right equipment. Make sure that any decorations you purchase are UL-listed.  UL is an independent organization that tests products to make sure they’re safe for use.   If you don’t see the little UL symbol on the decoration, don’t buy it.  Also, be sure to purchase at least one surge protector and some power conditioners for your lights.
  3. Don’t overdo it. As tempting as it is to plaster the outside of your house with holiday lights, it’s important to decorate responsibly.  Typically, no more than three strands of lights should be connected end-to-end to prevent overheating.  Also, be cautious of older houses, as the old wiring could be too weak to handle the amount of lights you want to plug in.  Keep in mind that there are over 2 million houses in the DFW area that are more than 20 years old.  The last thing you want to do is blow a circuit and have to call an electrician during the holidays.
  4. Keep your tree watered. According to the US Fire Administration, Christmas trees cause 250 fires each year, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries, and over $13.8 million in damage.  If your tree isn’t watered enough, an electrical short in your lights or an open flame can turn your tree into a giant fireball.  Making sure your tree is properly watered is a great form of fire prevention.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed with friends and loved ones, and by following these few safety tips, you can help to make sure you’re not a victim of a “Clark Griswold” Christmas.  If you want to learn more about your home’s current electrical state, contact the best electrician Plano has to offer.

Happy Holidays!

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