Holiday lights, a crackling fire, and freshly baked cookies… what’s not to love about the holidays? According to an Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) consumer survey, 86% of Americans decorate their homes as part of winter holiday celebrations. However, before you get too carried away with holiday decorating, you’ll want to take a minute to read some safety tips that Kansas City NARI put together to help you and your family have a holly, jolly, and safe holiday season.
- Outdoor Electrical Lights: Outdoor lighting should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Don’t have one installed? Consider purchasing a portable GFCI.
- Hanging Outdoor Lighting: Do you live near a power line? Be sure to use caution when decorating nearby. Keep your decorations, and yourself, at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Extension Cords & Lights: Never use more than three strands of lights to every extension cord!
- Indoor/Outdoor Lights: Be sure that you are only using indoor lights inside and that you are using outdoor lights outside. Don’t forget to check for damaged or frayed strands of lights!
- Electrical Outlets: Be sure that you are not overloading your outlets! Not sure how much your outlet can handle? Get in touch with a NARI electrician to help you understand the capacity of your outlets.
- Extension Cords & Decorations: Remember, extension cords should never be placed under carpets, rugs, furniture, or out of windows!
- Fire Safety: Keep decorations at least three feet away from any open flame – candle, fireplace, etc.
- Christmas Trees: If you have a natural tree, be sure to keep it well hydrated. If your tree is dry, it could potentially catch fire from the heat of the light bulbs. Also, be sure to place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources!
- Space Heaters: Do not leave space heaters on while you are out of the room or sleeping!
- Electric Blankets: According to ESFI, electric blankets cause almost 500 fires every year. Almost all of these fires involved blankets that were over 10 years old. Be sure to replace yours with a newer blanket that has a shut-off mechanism to prevent overheating.
Now that you know all of the holiday dos and don’ts, it’s time to let the festivities begin. Check out another holiday read from KC NARI, 3 Clever Updates to Have Done Before the Holidays!