The holiday season can be both exciting and stressful as you take time to decorate your home, cook holiday dinners and get gifts for loved ones. You might not even be thinking about electrical problems during the holidays, but you might be making some mistakes that lead to electrical fires that could derail your celebrations. Here are some ways you can prevent electrical problems during the holiday months.
Don't Hang Lights with Broken Bulbs and Frayed Wires
When you are putting your lights up for the first time in the holiday season, be sure to inspect them for any sign that they might not be safe. Check for frayed and exposed wires and look for bulbs that are broken. Don't assume that the lights are fine the way they are; frayed and exposed wires may lead to fires. If you attempt to replace a broken bulb with a bulb that is a higher wattage than all the others, your entire string of lights might overheat and also cause a fire.
Monitor Your Christmas Tree's Hydration
If you are like many people who buy a real, cut Christmas tree for the holidays, you are vaguely aware that you should keep it in water as you would any other plant. However, you might not be aware of how dangerous a dry Christmas tree is. Firefighters in Clackamas, Oregon, did an experiment to prove just how quickly a dry Christmas tree could catch flame. In less than two minutes after a votive candle ignited a branch on a dry tree, the resulting fire spread to nearby gifts and furniture.
You can prevent this problem by making sure you buy a fresh cut, well-hydrated tree in the first place. Make sure you cannot pull any needles off the tree and that the branches do not snap. Snappable branches may mean that the tree is already too dry and will get drier after you bring it home.
To determine whether your tree is too dry after it's been in your home a while, see if you can easily pull needles off the tree. If so, you should dispose of the tree as quickly as you can after the holiday. Be sure that nothing flammable is placed near the tree and keep an eye on it over time.
Now that you know a couple of ways you can prevent electrical trouble during the holiday season, use the information above to help you. You might even consider consulting an electrician for additional info to ensure that your holiday setup is not risky.