As electricians, we have seen holiday light displays that make us smile – and lots of holiday light displays that make us cringe when considering the safety impacts of overloaded outlets.
As the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) tells us, “Between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 860 home structure fires that began with holiday decorations and an additional 210 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees according to the National Fire Protection Association.”
To help ensure that your holidays will be happy, the ESFI offers these winter holiday safety tips:
Did you know that a fatal fire is most likely to occur while you are asleep? That’s why the ESFI says, “Always turn off your decorations when you leave your home and when you’re sleeping.”
Fresh Christmas trees can be beautiful, and nothing evokes the holiday spirit like the fragrance of fresh pine. But fresh trees need to be taken care of. “If you have a natural Christmas tree,” the experts at the EFSI says, “water it to keep it fresh and safe. Real trees can dry up and turn into kindling in no time at all.”
Can’t get enough of the holiday music (even though it’s been playing since Halloween!)? “We all love falling asleep to the muffled crooning of Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé, but overheated electronics under pillows and blankets are dangerous,” the EFSI says. Leave your devices on the nightstand.
Many of us are guilty of overloading electrical outlets – especially during the holidays. All those extension cords you have stretched out around your house are a common cause of fire. “If you’re using extension cords or adapters that add receptacles, consider having a qualified electrician add more outlets to your home,” the EFSI says.
“The best gift for your family is to upgrade to Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter breakers or outlets,” the experts at the EFSI will tell you. “It is estimated that half of the electrical fires that occur every year could be prevented by AFCIs. All upgrades should be completed by a qualified electrician.”
And, if you need a qualified electrician in South Florida for an electrical panel change, contact Emerald Isle Electric today at (561) 303-5475.