Holiday Electrical Safety Tips
During this most wonderful time of the year, displaying holiday lights and decorations is a time-honored tradition for spreading good cheer. But celebrating the season with all the trimmings can also ring in unwanted safety hazards. The following list gives helpful safety tips to keep the season merry.
- Inspect decorations before plugging in, checking for frayed or loose wires and loose connections.
- Secure lights with insulated holders (never use tacks, staples or nails) or run strings of lights through hooks.
- Never run electrical cords and wiring under rugs or carpet.
- Do not overload extension cords and electrical outlets or connect more than three strings of lights together.
- Remove dead tree limbs near power lines and clear any storm debris that may pose a fire hazard to outside lightings and decorations. NEVER trim tree limbs that are touching power lines. If a damaged limb is resting on a power line, contact us at 891.4YOU (4968).
- Place fresh-cut trees away from heat sources, such as heat registers, fireplaces, radiators and televisions.
- Turn off holiday lights while you are away from home or before going to bed at night. Consider adding a programmable timer to ensure lights are not accidentally left on.
- Unplug strings of lights before replacing bulbs, and replace burned-out bulbs promptly with ones of the same wattage.
- When placing lights or decorations outdoors, use only decorations and extension cords certified for outdoor use.
- When placing lights or decorations on outdoor trees, make sure to clear any damaged limbs. Fallen limbs can damage electrical cords and bulbs.
- Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to avoid potential shocks.
- Do not string lights on trees that are near or touching power lines.
- On outside lights, point sockets down to avoid moisture build-up, wrap a plastic bag around connections and tie ends with electrical tape.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Faulty bulbs could make the tree become charged with electricity.
These tips are provided in cooperation with the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA).