As we approach that festive time of year yet again, you may be looking forward to decorating your home for the holidays. But as you adorn your O’Fallon home with strings of lights and decorations, you can’t ignore electrical safety. Here are some important electrical safety tips from your trusted O’Fallon and Hazelwood MO electricians as you consider your holiday lighting plans.
Inspect the Decorations
Before you plug in a single strand of holiday lights, take the time to inspect each decoration, checking for:
- Broken sockets
- Frayed wires
- Damaged plugs
Because damaged decorations can put you at a higher risk of electrical fires or shock, it’s wise to replace or repair these items before use.
Only Use Outdoor-Rated Decorations Outdoors
Using indoor decorations for the outdoors can result in electrical failures and accidents. When adding outdoor decorations, make sure you’re using lighting and extension cords that were designed for outdoor use. That’s because they’re made with safety features and materials that can stand up to the elements and thus reduce the risk of electrical hazards.
Follow the Manufacturer's Instructions
All holiday lights and decorations come with manufacturer guidelines as well as complete safety instructions. Read and follow those instructions carefully, as they give you critical information on the safe set-up and use of the decorations. Look for information that includes maximum wattage, how many strings that can be connected, and any suitable outlets.
Don't Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not overload electrical outlets with a bunch of decorations and extension cords. This can lead to overheating and can create a fire hazard. Instead, utilize power strips with surge protection so all your decorations can be safely accommodated. To avoid blown fuses and tripped circuits, be mindful of the total wattage.
Inspect All Extension Cords
Yes, you need extension cords to reach those far corners of your yard, but be sure to heed all electrical safety tips for safe operation. Only use cords that are in good condition, with no damaged insulation or exposed wires. Make sure they are the appropriate length, and don’t connect multiple extension cords together.
Use LED Lights
It’s best to use LED lights for all your holiday decorations, as they are more energy-efficient, last longer, and generate less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs. Plus, they have a lower likelihood of overheating and causing fires.
Be Aware of Flammable Materials
Be careful where you set up your decorations, keeping them away from flammable materials such as dry foliage. This is because overheated bulbs and frayed wires can ignite combustibles nearby.
Turn Off Decorations When Not at Home
To lower the risk of electrical hazards, switch off your holiday lights when leaving home or going to bed. You may even want to use timers or smart plugs to make this process easier.
Lighting Installer St Charles & O’Fallon, MO
Need help stringing up your holiday light display this year? Our electricians in O’Fallon & St. Charles can make sure they are installed in the safest manner possible. To book an appointment, contact us at 636-294-8562.