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Home holiday safety

We can’t guarantee that the hustle and bustle of the season won’t leave you with a few frayed nerves, but we can help you avoid frayed wires and other holiday electrical hazards.

Inspect your seasonal items
Look for frayed or cracked wires, broken bulbs, and worn-out switches on lights and other electrical decorations. Don’t use items that are damaged. Make sure your electrical products have a label indicating they’ve been accredited by an independent testing laboratory.

Don’t overload circuits
Avoid overloading extension cords, power strips or outlets. One extension cord should only have three light strands connected to it at most. Outdoor outlets should be protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. Use power strips with a surge protector that will shut off power automatically if too much current is being drawn.

Be careful with extension cords
Make sure the cord you use is rated for its intended use. The tag at the end of an extension cord will tell you if it’s rated for outdoor use, whether it will remain flexible in cold temperatures and how much energy it can safely handle. Don’t run cords under rugs, through doorways and where they could be damaged by furniture.

Look up and live
When decorating outdoors, notice the location of overhead power lines. Carry your ladder so it’s parallel to the ground. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 ft. away from power lines. Never throw light strands into trees that are near power lines.

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