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The Electrical Naughty List

Aimin Tang | iStock.com

This Christmas, don’t let Santa (or your electric cooperative or fire department) hear about you committing any of the no-nos on the electrical naughty list.

If you’re in a hurry to set up for the season, it might be tempting to skip safety precautions. Some of the things that might get your name scrawled onto the irresponsible homeowner list include:

Overloaded outlets and electrical cords. Instead of plugging all your holiday lights and inflatable lawn reindeer into outlets in the same area of the house, space them out so you don’t overload a circuit. Another solution is to invest in high-quality power strips, where you can plug in extra lights, appliances and decorations.

Hidden electrical cords. You might need more length to get a string of Christmas lights from the outlet to the tree, but take care where you run cords. Never run them under rugs or through high-traffic areas. People can trip over them, and the rug can cause wear on a cord, which can make it vulnerable to overheating and starting a fire.

Cracked or frayed cords. When you’re unpacking your electrical decorations, inspect all cords for damage. Discard cords with cracks or frays.

Extension cords. After the holidays, pack and store extension cords. They are not designed for permanent use.

Smoke alarms. Keep the batteries fresh in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Change them before company arrives.

Net lighting. Birds and other wild animals can get trapped in netted holiday lights draped over bushes or wrapped around trees. String lights don’t pose as much of a hazard. If using net lighting, take it down as soon as the holiday is over to limit the risk to wildlife.

Posted: 12/20/2021 4:48:14 PM
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