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Avoid Electrical Accidents this Holiday

The holidays should be a fun, relaxing time for your family and friends, without trips to the hospital, visits from the fire department, or other unfortunate events. When you are using or installing holiday lighting, electronics, and other potentially hazardous products, you should take care to avoid accidents and injuries.

How to Prevent Holiday Electrical Accidents

When used improperly, certain products like holiday lighting can pose serious risks to your health and safety. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid accidents this season:

  • Inspect your holiday lighting before use. If you are using strings of holiday lights to decorate your tree or your home, inspect them carefully for damage like broken bulbs, frayed wires, and cracks in the wire insulation. Any of these problems could pose a shock hazard, and if they are found, you should replace the entire string, or in the case of broken bulbs, install new ones.
  • Use non-conductive ladders for light installations. If you are hanging holiday lights in high places, use sturdy fiberglass or wooden ladders to avoid electric shocks if the wiring becomes damage. Make sure the ladder is secure, and avoid climbing or reaching far to avoid falls.
  • Avoid installing holiday lights near dry materials. Lights that come in contact with paper, wood, or other dry materials can cause a fire, especially older incandescent lights. Ensure that your tree has plenty of water to keep it moist if lights are installed, and turn therm off when unattended.
  • Use holiday lights only when you are home. Do not leave your lights on while you are away from home to avoid fires and other accidents. To save energy, only turn on your holiday lights for a few hours in the evening or set a timer.
  • Do not overload your circuits. Although today’s holiday lights are more energy-efficient than older versions, you should still take care to note the amperage requirements for each set, and make sure all the strings together do not exceed your circuit’s maximum current (typically 15 amps).
  • Inspect extension cords and outlet strips. Do not use extension cords, splitters, or outlet strips that have damaged wires, loose outlets, or visible charring or scorch marks. Do not exceed the maximum current rating.
  • Keep holiday electronics away from water. If you have holiday decorations that play music, are animated, or have other electronic functions, keep them away from water, including the tree stand, to avoid electric shocks. This does not apply to those rated for outdoor use.
  • Beware of tripped breakers. If your holiday lights or electronics cause breakers to trip when they are plugged in or turned on, check each separately for problems and discard any that are damaged.

Electrical Services in McLean and Northern Virginia

If you are having problems with overloaded circuits, tripped breakers, or other electrical issues, contact our team at John Nugent & Sons for help. Our licensed electricians can find the cause of the problem and offer the most cost-effective solutions for your needs, from replacing a damaged outlet to installing a new circuit. We have been providing quality electrical, plumbing and HVAC services to homeowners throughout Northern Virgina since 1975.

Contact John Nugent & Sons at (703) 291-1926 to schedule electric services for your home in McLean or Northern Virgina!

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