We’re all familiar with Santa’s eight reindeer responsible for keeping Santa’s sleigh in flight on Christmas Eve. Here are our top eight electrical safety tips to help protect you and your loved ones this holiday season:
- Before putting up lights or other outdoor decorations, look up and stay clear of overhead power lines. Keep ladders, lights, tools and yourself at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Only lights and extension cords that are safety-certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Check for damage each year before you use them, and discard any lights with frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for holiday lights. Use power strips that have several outlets and a built-in circuit breaker to avoid overloading wall outlets or extension cords.
- Never run electrical cords under carpets or rugs where daily walking and wear could cause fraying and overheating.
- Select lights appropriate for where they will be used. Never use indoor lights outside because they are not designed to be waterproof and could short circuit. Outdoor lights also produce more heat than indoor light strings and could pose a fire hazard if placed on a tree.
- If using a live tree, remember to check water basin regularly and add when needed to keep the tree from drying. Although today’s LED holiday lights don’t emit much heat, they could create a hazardous situation if the tree limbs and needles dry out.
- Remind children never to touch lights or outlets.
- Be sure to turn off all lights when you leave the house or go to bed. Disconnect lights by pulling the plug, not by yanking on the cord.
And an extra safety note – be aware that scammers are active this time of year – see if you can spot the imposter with our quick Spot the Scammers Quiz.
We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season!