Holiday Lights Safety

November 21, 2019

As the holiday season slowly descends upon us, many are excited to start adorning their home with all manner of celebratory decorations. With many people using a lot more electricity in the wintertime, from plugging in space heaters to putting up holiday lights, there are a plethora of instances that can lead to fires.

Roger J. Cousin, the Owner of RJC Electrical, gave some useful tips on the best ways to use holiday lights so no one gets hurt.


Outdoor Tips

Tape up plugs and sockets. Prevent water or snow from seeping into your outdoor lights by taping together the plugs and sockets that are connected.

Check what outlets you’re using. While most homes today have GFCI outlets outside, it is a good idea to double-check your outlets before using them to protect yourself from shock hazards or possible electrocution.

Use waterproof cords. When putting up lights, it’s important to check what kind of extension cord you’re using. Indoor and outdoor extension cords differ in functionality and features, so be sure to buy ones that are labeled for outdoor use.

Indoor Tips

Don’t create a crowd. In the wintertime, people typically have a lot more items plugged into their outlets. Make sure things can’t get knocked over or are near combustible items, such as candles or space heaters. A good guideline to follow is the three-foot rule, meaning to keep flammable items three feet apart.

Inspect holiday lights. Dispose of wires that are frayed or damaged and don’t put more than three strands of lights together because they can overload and burn the insulation on the wire, or worst-case scenario, create enough heat to start a fire.

Be aware of where wires are located. Many people like to hide wires and extension cords under rugs or carpets to keep them out of the way, however this is a massive fire hazard. Be sure to place wires in areas that will not cause people to trip or result in other incidents, such as walkways or hallways.

Check smoke detectors. Most fires start between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, so having operational smoke detectors is essential. Ensure that there are smoke detectors in every level of the home and in every bedroom.

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