From November through the New Year Americans rush to light up their homes indoors and out. We trust that the lights we have stored in the attic for the last ten months are safe to hang on the tree and adorn the outdoor eaves of our homes. The number of fires increases exponentially at the holiday time and many can be traced to improper use of electric circuits. This blog will offer some good advice on how to avoid electric fires. We suggest you print it and hang it on your refrigerator or someplace highly visible.
• Overloaded electric circuits are a main cause of electric fires. The problem is that when a circuit becomes overloaded the wires can become extremely hot in a short amount of time. The result is sparking and short-outs that can then cause nearby combustible material to catch fire.
• When you start to purchase and hang lighting and electric decorations it is best to avoid cheaply constructed or inexpensive items. Many experts recommend that you purchase lights, extension cords and decorations that have ‘authentic UL’ (Underwriters Laboratories) labels.
• No matter where you purchase your holiday lights and electric items always inspect them from one end to the other before plugging them in. Even the most stringent regulations adopted by electric item manufacturers can have a faulty light or cord go undetected on occasion. You, the consumer, are in charge of your personal safety.
• Do not replace a bulb in a string of lights without unplugging the entire strip from the wall outlet or socket. Otherwise, you may get shocked. Also, make sure you are replacing one bulb with another of equal wattage.
• Even if you are confident your lights are safe ensure they are cool to the touch every so often. Better safe than sorry.
• Always turn off all electric decorations and tree lights before going to bed each night. Many holiday electric fires occur when families are asleep.
• Although a real tree is preferred by many, artificial trees are simply safer. They are also more environmentally friendly because they can be used year after year.
Research shows that half of all Christmas tree fires are caused by electric malfunctions! Take the time to double check all of your Christmas decorations before using them. Also always keep a working fire extinguisher in the home and know how to use it! We want you to have a safe holiday!