The Griswolds, we are not. In fact, while I was tempted to show you a photo of our current holiday lighting setup, I can’t – because I made my husband take it down. Yep, he’s been tasked with a do-over.
(Don’t roll your eyes at me! I just want our Christmas to be merry and bright – in an orderly, colour coordinated, non-fire hazardish fashion.)
So instead, here’s a picture of what I have in mind for my husband. Take note, dear!Hahaha. Now that I’ve been served with divorce papers, let’s get real about the topic at hand.
The festive season is here, and soon we’ll be busy decorating our homes for the holidays. When starting your holiday décor shopping for lighting, decorations or gifts, please keep electrical safety in mind! While Christmas lighting and electrical decorations (I see you, neon Santa) do contribute to the splendor of the season, they can also significantly increase the risk of fires and electrical injuries if not used safely.
In the past, my husband and I have joked about a haphazard string of lights or an overloaded circuit. I don’t think most people take electrical safety as seriously as they should – especially during the holidays, when there’s always an undercurrent of keeping up with the neighbours, or The Griswolds, as it were.
Thankfully, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has some key tips for you to keep your home merry and bright (and safe) when decorating this season.
1. Let it snow, let it snow, but don’t let it blur your vision. Look for overhead powerlines before setting up your ladder to hang outdoor lights and decorations. Did you know you should stay at least three metres away from all powerlines to ensure safety?
2. Baby, it’s cold outside – make sure your decorations are rated for outdoor use. Freezing temps can damage indoor rated cords, not to mention the potential for ice and snow to get into the connections, which can start a fire.
3. Underneath the tree, or anywhere else, never use damaged extension cords and avoid plugging too many decorations into the same outlet. These can overheat the circuit and could start a fire.
4. Real or fake? Always purchase lighting and other holiday electrical décor at a reputable retailer to avoid counterfeit products. Did you know lights should have a certification mark that ensures they’re safe to use and have been properly inspected?
5. If you’ll be home for Christmas, don’t forget to turn off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed. Even better, consider getting a timer for both indoor and outdoor lights.
Click here to find more safe holiday decorating tips, in addition to your holiday checklist for extension cords, plugs and outlets.
(And here’s a reminder to those homeowners who get a little lazy come January: holiday decorations aren’t designed for year-round use and can deteriorate over time. Take them down when the holidays are over!)
For more information on electrical safety this holiday season, visit the Electrical Safety Authority.
This post is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.