Winter Will Be Here Before You Know It: 4 Tips To Avoid Electrical Hazards While Decorating Your Home

Posted on: 23 June 2017

Summer might be in full-swing right now, but winter will be here before you know it. Soon, it will be time to start planning the holiday decorations. If you're going to be decorating your home with lights, and other light-up, or inflatable decorations, make sure you're ready to avoid electrical hazards. When the holidays arrive, you'll probably want to get out there right away, and decorate your home.

Unfortunately, if you don't take the time to conduct a pre-holiday lighting inspection, you might miss some issues that could cause serious problems once you plug everything in. The last thing you want is an electrical mishap to ruin your holidays, and send you – or someone else – to the hospital. Before you start planning your holiday decorations, here are four steps you should take to avoid electrical hazards and injuries.

Check the Wiring

Before you start hanging your holiday decorations, you need to check the wiring. This is particularly true if your decorations have been stored in the garage, or they're more than just a few years old. The wiring could be frayed, chewed through or worn out. If the wiring is damaged, don't use the decorations.

Look for the Safety Label

If it's been a while since you inspected your lights, or someone just gave you lights that they no longer use, check for the safety label before you use them. The safety label is a tag that will state that your lights are safe for exterior use. If your lights don't have the safety label, don't use them.

Know Your Amperage

When it comes to holiday decorations, it's important to know that they're not all the same: amperage, that is. Before you plug in your holiday decorations, make sure the amperage requirements match the specifications of the extension cords you'll be using. If the amperage's don't match, you could be at risk for an electrical short-out, or fire.

Avoid Using Non-GFCI Outlets

One thing to remember about your exterior holiday decorations, is that they're going to be exposed to the elements, which could include rain and snow. When you're plugging your decorations into their power source, make sure you avoid using non-GFCI outlets. GFCI outlets are specially designed to shut off when the power cords come in contact with water. If you don't have any exterior GFCI outlets, postpone decorating for the holidays until you can have an electrician come out and install them for you.

The holidays will be here before you know it. Use the tips provided here or contact an electrician to avoid electrical hazards when decorating your home this year.