Christmas lights and decorations are becoming an increasing competition between neighbors. Unfortunately, most homes are not wired for that much electrical current. Each time we plug in another string of lights or an extra dancing Santa display, we are putting more and more pressure on our outlets. That pressure can quickly lead to an electrical fire in your home.
Plugging in Your Decorations
Home outlets are only meant to transfer so much electricity. Using extension cords and multi-plug outlet extenders can cause unsafe currents to pulse through your home. Start with the right equipment and know the electrical fire warning signs.
Electrical Safety Do’s:
- DO use surge protectors.
- DO know your electrical outlet loads.
- DO unwrap any electrical cords while in use.
- DO move cords away from any heat source.
- DO make sure all electrical cords have open air to avoid overheating.
- DO check the temperature on outlets, cords and plugs.
Electrical Safety Don’ts:
- DON’T use frayed or damaged extension cords.
- DON’T pinch extension cords between windows or furniture.
- DON’T hide extension cords under rugs, tape, etc.
- DON’T leave extension cords wrapped while plugged in.
- DON’T ignore buzzing, crackling or sizzling sounds coming from your electrical outlets or extension cords.
- DON’T run extension cords behind TVs and entertainment systems as they often heat when in use.
Electrical Fire Warning Signs
Many electrical fires are preventable if you know to watch for signs. Any warm outlet, cord or plug needs to be unplugged immediately. Listen to your outlets when you turn on appliances. Are they buzzing? If so, remove any electronics and immediately call an electrician. Extension cords were created for short-term use. Leaving them plugged in for weeks while you light up your sleigh may cause unwanted electrical sparks.
What to do if there is a Fire
Even if you take all the right steps, electrical fires still occur. Whether due to poor electrical wiring, inappropriately maintained fuse boxes or faulting surge protectors, electrical fires can have devastating effects. If you experience a fire, contact an attorney immediately to help get you back on your feet faster.