With temperatures steadily lowering and the crisp fall air moving in, we are spending more time indoors with the TV, opening the fridge for snacks, using kitchen appliances for large meals, turning the lights on sooner as the sun sets earlier, and adding light decorations for the various fall and winter holidays. It’s a wonderful time of year and a beautiful one, too! As you enjoy all of the festivities that the cold seasons bring, we want to remind you to take care and caution when using, repairing, or installing new electrical appliances as well as when decorating the outside of your home with lights.
Before we go further into precautions to take when decorating your home, our family would like to remind you to test your smoke alarms! There are no doubt multiple fire hazards that come with decorating your home. Home fires occur most during the winter season, and electrical home fires are the most common cause of house fires in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that electrical distribution or lighting was involved in almost 50% of home Christmas tree fires. There are dangers with decor, candles, and Christmas tree lights, as well as hazards with cooking, and more.
To decrease the chance of accidental fire caused by electrical distribution, decorative lighting, or candles, be sure to follow these suggestions:
- If you’re hosting guests with children, take precautions by checking for any hazards they could get into. For example, make sure candles are out of reach of children.
- Don’t leave what’s cooking on the stove unattended.
- Choose flame-retardant decorations.
- Any decorative lights with exposed wiring or loose bulbs should be replaced.
- Use appropriate extension cords. Some are suited for outside and others for inside. Address any tripping hazards. In addition, make sure the plugged-in extension cord has enough slack (don’t let it be hanging halfway out and bent because the cord is pulled too tightly!).
- Avoid overloading outlets.
- There’s no need to keep decorations lit at night when you’re sleeping! Be sure to turn them off or have a timer set to turn them off.
- Take the time to read and understand the information that comes with your decorative lights. Some are specifically designed for outdoor and other for indoor use.
- Keep fire hazards away from Christmas trees or other flammable materials, and do not decorate your tree with lit candles. More than 1 in every 5 fires were caused by a heat source too close to the tree.
- Water your Christmas tree as directed. Dry trees pose an enormous risk because they burn so quickly.
As you interact with and handle more electrical components this season, use caution and take this time to educate those around you! We at Miller’s Services wish you and your family a happy fall and winter season. Stay safe! Take a look at these two videos for quick and comprehensive holiday safety tips.
For any electrical repair, installation, or renovation, our highly qualified service technicians are eager to work with you. Give us a call at 804-758-4314 today.