These Electrical Do’s and Don’ts Could be Lifesavers!
Just like that, we are once again knee-deep in holiday planning. After a year filled with more uncertainty than ever, we’re welcoming the joy of the season with open arms. It may not be spent with lots of guests and big parties, but one thing won’t change: Everyone’s love for decorating!
Don’t forget, though, that decorating comes with responsibility. At Miller’s, we want everyone to remain healthy and safe this season. While most of our clients know us as the area’s leading heating and cooling experts and top-notch boiler installation experts in Norfolk, we are also professional electricians! Our years of electrical experience have taught us many lessons regarding electrical safety during Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Below are 10 tips that every homeowner should follow this December.
’Tis the Season for Electrical Do’s and Don’ts
Ready, set, decorate! But before you untangle those lights and hang wreaths on the walls, consult our safety checklist!
1. Don’t connect more than three light strands.
Combining over three incandescent light strings can be hazardous. Be cautious and keep connections to a minimum.
2. Do inspect extension cords.
Extra lights mean extra cords! To avoid fire hazards, be sure you use indoor cords for indoor use, outdoor cords for outdoor use. Also, make sure to replace worn, frayed or outdated cords every few years.
3. Do water your real tree regularly.
Opting for a live tree? Be sure to take care of it. A healthy, well-watered tree cuts back on dry branches and reduces fire hazards.
4. Do carefully inspect any electrical ornaments/decorations.
Many of us have traditional decorations that have been handed down to us from parents or grandparents. Some of these can become very worn over the years. Inspect them carefully for loose wires or frayed connections. Replace bulbs or wires if necessary to prevent shocks or fire hazards.
5. Do switch to battery-operated candles.
Do you enjoy putting candles in your windows? Skip plugs and opt for battery-operated brands with timers. Simply set the timer in the beginning of the season—and let the batteries do the rest!
6. Don’t overload those electrical sockets.
We all remember the scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie’s dad struggles to find the right plug to relight the tree because a dozen cords are all going into one socket. Don’t be like Ralphie’s dad! Use a surge protector to keep your home safe.
7. Do a safety check of your decorations.
Electrical decorations should have some type of “inspected by” label indicating approval for home use. Always check for this notice.
8. Don’t put lighted decorations near water.
Keep tree stands and pets’ water dishes far from any type of lighted decorations. Water and sparks do not mix and can easily start a fire!
9. Install GFCI outlets near your sinks.
GFCI outlets are the safest way to protect your family from shocks or other electrical outlet hazards. They automatically shut off if they sense current abnormalities.
10. Do be mindful of high-wattage appliances.
Don’t overload outlets. If you have a high wattage appliance, be sure you only plug one into an outlet at a time. Otherwise, you run the risk of overloading the outlet and tripping the breaker.
Happy Holidays and a Safe Season to All
As the year comes to a close, all of us at Miller’s Heating and Air Conditioning wish you and yours the safest and happiest holiday ever. As always, when the temperatures start to dip and your home needs some heating maintenance or heat pump repair in Portsmouth or nearby, feel free to call on Hampton Roads’ favorite HVAC company for assistance—Miller’s!