The holidays are filled with family, food, and fun – but don’t forget electrical safety! Our Winter Park residential electrician team has compiled a handy guide for you to remember when planning your festivities.
Halloween is over, and while you’re still munching on your kids’ candy, thoughts of feasting with family and trimming your tree are beginning to come to mind. The excitement of the holiday season is upon us. Before the boxes come down from the attic, we want to pause and take this opportunity to remind you to keep electrical safety at the forefront of your planning. By doing so, you can avoid making an emergency call to our Winter Park residential electrician or taking an unexpected trip to the hospital!
Common Electrical Hazards
In our efforts to have the brightest house on the block with the longest holiday buffet the family has ever seen, it’s easy to fall victim to some of these electrical hazards. As you’re planning and plugging in all the things, avoid the following:
Overloading your circuits and outlets – Circuits are designed to allow a certain amount of power from each outlet. When you plug in too many things, it can cause your circuit to shut off or, worse, short out. Using too many extension cords and power strips can cause your outlet to overheat and is a potential fire hazard. Spread your power needs around to avoid overloading.
Using damaged cords – Always check your power cords for signs of damage. Using a damaged or frayed cord is a huge fire hazard.
Using indoor lights outdoors – There’s a reason outdoor lights are used outdoors, and indoor lights are for inside. Outdoor lights are weather-resistant and can stand up to the elements. When you use indoor lights outside, rain can short them out or cause them to spark.
Using flammable decorations – It’s unlikely that all your decor is fire-retardant, so be safe when spreading holiday cheer around your home. Keep flammable decorations away from outlets and candles.
Not watering your tree – If your dog keeps lapping up water from your holiday tree, it can dry out and become a fire hazard. Keep it hydrated for safety.
Not testing smoke detectors – Before the family arrives and the goose is in the oven, test your smoke detectors. Replace batteries if needed.
Aside from using indoor and outdoor lighting in their proper places, keep these tips in mind when decking your halls – and your roof.
- Inspect your cords to make sure they are not damaged.
- Don’t daisy chain cords. Plug holiday lights directly into the outlet when possible, and use surge protectors to guard against overloading your circuits.
- Use LED lights. Not only are they energy-efficient, they don’t get as hot as incandescent bulbs and are less likely to start a fire.
- Turn off your lights when you leave the house or turn in for the night.
- Install GFCI outlets. Consider having Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets installed outdoors to protect against electric shock hazards.
- For complex or extensive lighting displays, consider hiring a Winter Park residential electrician to ensure proper electrical load management.
To have the longest buffet on the block, you need to plug in a few appliances (or more than just a few). While meal-planning, prep your kitchen for electrical safety with these tips.
- Use grounded outlets. When using appliances like mixers, blenders, or toasters, make sure they are plugged into grounded outlets with three-pronged plugs. Avoid using adapters to plug three-pronged appliances into two-pronged outlets.
- Unplug cords when they’re not in use. It’ll save energy and reduce the risk of electrical malfunctions or accidental starts.
- Don’t overload your outlets. This is a recurring theme, but we repeat it because it’s important to remember and easy to overlook.
- Install GFCI outlets near sinks and countertops to help avoid electrical shock.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your larger kitchen appliances, such as ovens and ranges, to ensure they are in good working order and not prone to electrical faults.
Maintenance and Inspections
Doc Watts can help you get ready for the season by inspecting your electrical infrastructure and performing any maintenance or repairs you need.
- Electrical repairs – We can replace that blown fuse so you can plug in the guest air mattress.
- Circuit breakers – We can figure out why your breaker keeps tripping and replace or upgrade your circuit if needed.
- Surge protectors – A great way to avoid overloading circuits is with a whole-home surge protector.
- Smoke detectors – We can check your smoke detectors and change your batteries.
- Electrical outlets – We can install GFCI outlets, replace outlets, or do anything else you need to get every crock pot plugged in this season.
- Lighting installation – Want to upgrade your dining room chandelier before your mother-in-law gets to town? Let the Doc take care of it.
- And more!
Doc Watts Wishes You A Happy And Safe Holiday Season!
Put electrical safety on your holiday to-do list this season, and contact our Winter Park residential electrician to help you get ready for the most wonderful time of the year! And remember to Call the Doc When You Have NO Watts!