Don't let an tragedy ruin Christmas for your family.  Check out these holiday electrical safety tips from the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.  You can find other home electrical safety information on their website.

light bulb santaSanta Safety says during this holiday time, when we all get together with family and friends to celebrate this joyous occasion, we decorate our homes for this festive time.

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from accidents that can arise from electrical products from age or damage.

Decorations

Check all decorations for defects and cuts.  Follow all manufacturer instruction on the package for installation.  We recommend using insulated staples to help preventing damaging the insulation.    Remember to remove all exterior decorations after the holidays; most are not made to be exposed to the weather for long periods of time.

Extension Cords

Extension cords are designed for temporary use only.   Of course during the holiday seasons extension cords are needed.  Be sure to inspect the cords for nicks and cuts.  If the extension cord does have cuts or nicks DO NOT USE THEM!  Extension cords are cheaper than a new house.  Do not over load extension cords.  

Exterior Receptacle Covers

If you install exterior decorations you should use what is known as in use covers.  This protects you and your decorations from the weather when they are plugged in.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

All out door receptacles are required to be on ground fault circuit interrupters, same with kitchen counter top receptacles and bathroom receptacles.  The GFCI have a TEST and RESET button on them.  You should use the test button regularly to test your GFCI.  It is recommended that GFCI be tested once a month.

Smoke Detectors

Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and either vacuum or blow clean of trapped dust once a year.   We recommend doing this when you are hanging your holiday decorations.

Light Bulb Wattage

All light fixtures have a label with the maximum rated size wattage  bulb required for that light.  This also includes table lamps, but especially light fixtures with covers for they hold the heat in.  

Power Off

And remember to turn all decorations off when not at home. Remove all decorations after the holiday.