The holidays can be a wonderful time to gather with your family and friends and celebrate the end of the year. Besides more people and more food, there will also be more lights around your home and your tree. With all the festivities, you may overlook some important electrical advice. Here are five electrical hazards to avoid this holiday.
1. Using the Wrong Lights
When you purchase lights for the exterior of your home, make sure that they are outdoor lights. The box should say whether or not the lights are approved for outdoor use. Indoor lights can’t stand up to harsh winter weather, such as cold temperatures, rain, or snow. So, indoor lights shouldn’t be used for outdoor purposes, and the reverse is true as well. Remember not to put outdoor lights on your indoor holiday tree. In addition, when you light up your tree, make sure the indoor lights you use don’t burn too hot. If they do, you can inadvertently cause a fire. LED lights burn cooler and can be a great alternative to traditional Christmas lights.
2. Overloading Your Electrical Circuit
Standard residential outlets can take 15 amps of electrical current. This amp rating indicates the maximum number of amps the circuit can take. If you go over the 15 amps, you will trip the circuit. In fact, you shouldn’t go over 80% of the maximum rating. This means that you should only load 12 amps into the circuit.
Another tip to keep in mind is not to string too many lights together. Figure out the amperage for each group of lights to determine the maximum string of lights you can link together. To reduce the load on your circuit, you can switch to LED lights. What’s more, LED lights last longer and burn cooler.
3. Toss Out Damaged Lights
If you’re reusing last year’s set of lights, make sure that there are no frayed edges or worn-out cords. If there are, toss them. You may also discover that some bulbs have burnt out. Replace the burnt-out bulbs before hanging them up on your tree or outdoors.
4. Don’t Use Real Candles on or Near Your Tree
Candles are incredibly beautiful and can create a cozy ambiance during the holidays. However, candles can quickly burn your tree down. If you plan to use candles as part of your holiday decorations, don’t use them on your tree or at the bottom of the tree. The concentrated flame can burn the bottom branches of your tree, and this can spread.
5. Watch Out for Rain
Even though Camarillo, CA is mainly dry, the winter season does see some rain. If you don’t want the rain to ruin your holiday light display, look for water-resistant lights or ones that are waterproof. Your outdoor lights should have an Underwriters Lab (UL) holographic tag. This tag means the lights are safe to use and they have been tested for outdoor use, including during rainy conditions.
Don’t let an electrical accident ruin your holiday festivities. When you need advice about your holiday lighting, contact Economy Lighting and Electric. We can help with your lighting, electrical panel, and more.