Statistics show that home fires and other electrical accidents increase during the holiday season, so it’s important to practice electrical safety.
Inspect Any Electrical Decorations Before Use: Check for any damaged or cracked sockets, as well as any loose or bare wires and connections. Any damage could cause a shock or start a fire.
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets: While it’s always fun to have the brightest house on the block, an overloaded outlet is one of the most common causes of fires during the season.
Be Careful with Cord Placement: Cords shouldn’t be strained by furniture or put into tiny areas, such as windows or doors. They shouldn’t be under rugs or by heat sources. Don’t attach a cord with a nail or staples, in order to prevent a fire hazard or shock.
Stay in the Kitchen When Cooking: The holidays mean a lot of time is spent cooking, and unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of cooking fires. Stay in the kitchen to pay attention to what’s happening.
Check Decorations for the Certification Label: Decorations should have a label from an independent laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories. Without this label, the decorations have not been tested for safety and could be dangerous to have on in the home.
Water the Christmas Tree: Dry trees are a fire hazard, so keep the tree fresh by checking water levels and watering daily as needed.
Keep Combustibles Away from Heat Sources: Anything combustible should be kept at least three feet away from a heat source. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a decoration too close to a heat source is a factor in half of the home fires that start with decorations. As nice as those stockings look above the fireplace, remove them before using it.
Turn Off Decorations Before Going to Sleep: Make sure to blow out any candles and be sure to turn off lights before going to sleep or leaving the house.