Everyone adores seeing Christmas lights. They really bring about an atmosphere of holiday cheer. However, Christmas lights are sometimes the culprits when it comes to holiday fires. Read on to find out how to avoid them.
The Yuletide Season is a time for celebration and good cheer. Avoid having to spend your Christmas in the Emergency Room by following these tips on electrical home safety:
Don’t Leave Your Christmas Lights On Unattended Most major fires start this way. Have your Christmas tree lights, illuminated decor and parols on only while you are home and aware of them. If you’re leaving the house or going to bed, turn them off. Unplug the lights that don’t have off switches or use power adaptors.
Unplug As Much As You Can Before A Holiday Trip If you’re heading out of town for the holidays, make sure to unplug all of your Christmas and regular lights, home appliances, computers (including printers, scanners, fax machine, etc.), power tools and toys. Take note of Xboxes, Wiis and PlayStations—these are powered by adaptors that continue to suck power even if the console is off. Also, don’t leave any cellphone adaptors plugged when you go away, especially if they’re not connected to the cellphone.
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Choose Safer Christmas Lights If you must use cheap Quiapo or Divisoria Christmas lights, don’t use them more than 2 years in a row. If you can, avoid using them at all and pay for quality—getting reliable lights is a decent investment. For Christmas trees, try the fiber-optic variety as they only have one bulb right at the base. Watch out for the foil Christmas trees as they conduct electricity more readily in the event of a short from the lights. Make sure your Christmas tree lights, parols, lamps and other electrical devices are functioning properly and are not damaged in any way.
For outdoor lights, make sure they’re certified for outdoor use.
Fix or Replace Damaged Christmas Lights If you see broken bulbs, replace them with new ones—get help from your local hardware store to determine the right kind. For exposed wires, cracked sockets or any other kind of damage, have your electrician repair them or discard them. At least, it’s an excuse to shop for a new tree or parol.
Make sure you don’t plug all your Christmas lights in one set of outlets so as not to overload your circuit breaker. Don’t plug too many lights, decorations and appliances into a power strip or extension cord adaptor.