Deck the halls with boughs of catnip, fa la la la la la la la… Oh hey there, Myrtle Beach! Cool Cat here just doing a little decorating for the holidays. You too? That means it’s a great time for us to have a little chat about electrical safety and decorations! Grab that cup of eggnog and pull up a chair and we’ll go over some tips.
1. Before you start wrapping that lighted garland down the staircase, it’s important to inspect all decorations that will be plugged into electricity or run on batteries. Yep, all of them – even the brand new ones in case of manufacturing defects or other damage that could have happened before you bought it. You want to make sure there are no cracked/damaged sockets, bare wires, damaged wires or loose connections. All of these issues cause a fire hazard.
2. Once you have your decorations plugged in, be careful not to pinch, bend or crush the wires. This can cause damage of the sort you just inspected for above. Common ways this happens is being pinched by furniture, crimped by being closed into window frames or being secured using nails or staples. Also, you don’t want to hide cords or connections underneath rugs or other places that can trap heat and increase fire risk.
3. Avoid blown fuses and overloaded outlets as both increase fire risk. To avoid blown fuses, don’t connect more than three strands together. To avoid overloading outlets, only plug one high-wattage item at a time into each outlet. Overloaded outlets and faulty wiring are a frequent cause of house fires during the holidays.
4. Use battery-powered candles instead of standard burning candles. Burning candles are the source of half of all decoration-related fires during the holidays.
5. Check before you buy electric decorations to be sure they have been safety tested by looking for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. If the decoration doesn’t have this label or symbol on the package, it might not have been safety-tested and could be a fire risk.
6. Watch kids and pets around electrical decorations to prevent pulling, chewing and biting on decorations or cords that could cause damage – and create a fire hazard.
7. Before you go to bed and whenever you leave the house, be sure to turn off, unplug or otherwise disconnect electric decorations. Half of all deaths due to house fires happen between 11 P.M. and 7 A.M. so simply turning everything off reduces your risk of house fires and death from house fires.
Cool Cat is glad we had this time to chat. Safety during the holidays is an important thing to share with each other so that we all have a great holiday season and cooooooool new year. And if you ever need help with an electrical problem, the cats at Carolina Cool are just a phone call away.