If you want to be festive this holiday season while avoiding a stress fest, it’s time you learned tips from a certified electrician about holiday lighting. Here are the top six ways to make holiday lighting a smooth, safe experience.
- Know decoration wattage: Before you purchase items for your house or yard, know how many watts the decorations require. Compare that with the wattage you have available in your home; a certified electrician can help you determine what that is. Keep in mind that low-wattage items consume less electricity and cost less to operate.
- Install a circuit: If you plug all your holiday lights into a single circuit and then use your appliances like normal, you might end up blowing a circuit. The best way to handle a whole bunch of Christmas lights is to have a Dallas electrician install a dedicated circuit.
- Use a timer on the dedicated circuit: This makes it so you don’t have to turn the circuit on and off manually. A timer adds security and makes sure the lights turn off in the middle of the night.
- Check the lights: Inspect the strings before putting them up to make sure no bulbs are broken or missing, no wires are bare or frayed, and no connections are loose. Certified electricians also recommend inspecting the area where you plan to install the lights; ensure the gutters are clear and tree branches are stable.
- Take care of extension cords: If you position any extension cords outside, wrap them up in a plastic enclosure, such as a grocery sack, to protect them from water damage. Never put more than three strings of lights together. If you need too, start a new string of lights using a different plug.
- Be safe: Keep children and pets away from cords. Use LED lights that emit much less heat than old light strands to ensure combustibles don’t catch on fire. Speak with a certified electrician for safety tips regarding outdoor lighting if you have any concerns.
For more information about holiday lighting, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is your trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience. Visit the Electricman website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.