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Holiday Electrical Safety

Holiday Electrical Safety

Watervliet Arsenal Safety Office
Watervliet, New York

Decorating the home for the holiday season is a great tradition. Don’t forget, however, an essential part of stringing the lights and putting up the Christmas tree is keeping an eye on electrical safety. Here are a few simple steps to help ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season:

  • Don’t overload electric circuits. Check fuses or circuit breaker panels to see what your home can handle and stay well within the limits.
  • Avoid putting too many strings of lights together and plugging them into a single outlet.
  • Watch for flickering lights; sparks from appliances or wall outlets; warm plates, plugs or outlets; and dimming lights or television screens. These signal potential danger spots that could cause an electrical fire.
  • Make sure there’s a bulb in each socket. If a bulb burns out, leave it in until you have a replacement. Immediately replace any broken bulbs that have exposed filaments.
  • Use only Underwriters Laboratory-approved equipment. Check for frayed cords, cracked insulation and damaged plugs.
  • Surge protector strips are a safe option if you need more outlets, but don’t daisy chain them together.
  • Match plugs with outlets. Never force a three-pronged plug into a two-hole outlet or extension cord.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.
  • If you have children in the house or are expecting young visitors, inspect your home for cracked or missing outlet covers. Use safety caps to cover outlets.
  • Keep live Christmas trees watered to prevent bulbs from igniting dry branches. Never use electrical decorations on metal trees. Instead, place colored spotlights beside or above the tree. If using an artificial tree, make sure you purchase one that is fire retardant.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports using plastic hooks or clips. Do not nail, tack, pinch, nick or stress wiring.
  • Outdoor lighting should have insulated electrical cords and be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle only. Keep all plugs and connectors off the ground and away from puddles and snow.

Don’t let your holidays end in tragedy. Make electrical safety a priority this Christmas and be sure to carry it through the New Year and beyond.

  • 1 December 2020
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 1201
  • Comments: 0