Decorating for Christmas with Electric Safety
December has arrived, and the holiday season is in full swing! While you’re hanging wreaths and stringing lights around your tree, you’ll be dealing with electricity often. Decorate safely this holiday season with KREMC’s Christmas safety tips.
There’s nothing worse than your beautiful Christmas tree shedding dry needles by the time December 25th comes around. More importantly, dry trees also pose an electric safety risk. If you’re putting a real tree in your home, choose one that is fresh. No matter how perfect you think your chosen tree is, it’s not safe if it’s dropping needles as you haul it to the car.
Choosing a fresh tree will make it safer when you’re decorating with electric lights, especially if you have a cat prone to attacking Christmas trees.
To help your tree stay healthy all December, make sure it’s placed in water immediately after arriving at your home. Remember to water it every day and keep an eye on the condition of the needles. Giving your Christmas tree an endearing name will make it feel like a short-term family member and may help you remember to take care of it well.
You know that feeling of dread when you pull holiday decorations out of the attic and fifteen strands of pretty lights are tangled into an impossible knot? Listen to that feeling. It doesn’t only mean hours of untangling ahead; using old, knotted lights can pose electric safety hazards.
LEDs are the best lights to get for Christmas decorating because they don’t heat up, like incandescent bulbs. If you’re hoping to save energy this December, LEDs are also a good option because they use less electricity and still shine just as brightly. When you purchase your lights, check for the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) label, to ensure they’re safety approved.
If you use a strand of lights from last year, inspect them carefully before putting them up. Make sure they’re in good condition and plug them in to see if they work. If you try to decorate with cracked bulbs or frayed wires, your Christmas setup is vulnerable to sparks or shocks that may start a fire.
We get it. Your front yard just has to look more dramatic than the rest of the neighborhood. But house fires are not the right way to win a neighborhood lighting competition.
When you’re setting up your lights, don’t overload your outlets and extension cords. Always be aware of where the cords are running, and make sure they’re not in a place where family and friends could trip over them.
When you go to bed, remember to unplug your lights first. Unplugging them instead of just switching them off will also help you save energy over time. If you have holiday lights set up outside, put them on a timer so you never have to worry about forgetting them overnight.
We hope our tips help you decorate for Christmas with electric safety. At KREMC, your safety and well-being come first, and we want to help you practice safety awareness and energy efficiency all year long. Merry Christmas from your local electric cooperative!
This blog was supplemented by material from Tipmont REMC.