Christmas Safety Tips to Keep You and Yours Safe This Holiday Season
The holiday season is officially here, and with Christmas just a few weeks away, give yourself the gift of reassurance and peace of mind by following our seven christmas holiday safety tips.
Decking the halls can be a hazard to the health and safety of your family. According to the B.C. Government, each year, preventable fires during the holiday season injure British Columbians and cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
It’s essential to take the proper precautions to keep yourself, your home and your loved ones safe.
Here are a few key safety tips for the holidays:
#1: O Christmas Tree
Keep your Christmas tree hydrated! Water your tree daily, or cut the bottom at a 45-degree angle and stick it in water to keep it fresh. Remember, green is good.
Even if your tree is fake, the risk still exists. Look for the label “fire-resistant” or “fire-retardant” on your artificial tree. This label doesn’t mean it won’t catch on fire, but it does mean that it’s less likely, and if it does, it’ll be much easier to extinguish.
Tip: Embrace Smart Technology.
Automate your Christmas tree lighting by adding a WiFi smart plug. Have full control with a quick tap on your connected smartphone, or connect to a voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. Adding smart tech doesn’t have to be complicated; it provides convenience along with a level of increased safety.
#2: Walking in a Wire-filled Wonderland
Carefully inspect each electrical decoration before you put it on your Christmas tree or around your house. After many years of use, wires can become cracked or frayed. Any loose connections may cause a harmful shock or start a fire.
Test any lights before use and after a close inspection. Toss out any defective wires. It’s not worth saving a few bucks as the risk of a severe incident is so high.
Do you know what that third prong on plugs is used for? It’s there for a reason! The “grounding pin” prevents shock in case of failure.
Lastly, make sure that your outdoor lights and decorations are plugged into GFCI protected outlets.
Tip: Do the Math
Be sure to distribute your light strands among multiple extension cords and look for the wattage rating. If the combined wattage of your lights exceeds the wattage rating of the cord, it may overheat.
#3: A Holly Jolly (and well lit) Christmas
Make the switch:
- Use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
- Use LED lights instead of traditional incandescent lights. They use less energy (which saves you money!), and they run much cooler. Any lights hung outdoors need to be specifically designed for that use. Indoor lights placed outside can potentially cause an electrical hazard in the rain.
Stay away from knock-off or discount electrical decorations such as lights. Be sure to look for a label specifying that an independent testing laboratory has inspected it; there are three standard labels found in Canada (UL, CSA and ETL).
Tip: Read the Instructions
We often toss them out – but for any electrical decorations, especially lights – it’s prudent to follow the use and care instructions exactly as written by the manufacturer.
#4: All I Want for Christmas is Safe and Secure Cords
Pinched cords can damage the cord’s insulation, putting it at risk of causing electrical shocks and fire. Make sure cords aren’t stuck under heavy furniture or rugs. Replace any cords or wires that look frayed or damaged.
Always unplug your cords by using the gripping area. Pulling the cord itself can cause breakage.
Tip: Nails and Cables Don’t Mix
Use insulated hooks or Command brand damage-free hanging solutions to avoid electrical issues caused by nails or staples that can pierce the cable.
#5: O Holy Night, Goodnight and Sleep Tight
Always turn off everything before going to bed or leaving the house.
#6: Physical Distancing (before it was the norm)
Besides keeping your distance from those outside your household this year, make sure holiday decorations are at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as heaters and fireplaces.
Tip: Replace your smoke detector batteries every year as you put up your tree.
Batteries in your smoke detector should be replaced annually, and this occasion can serve as a great reminder. Did you know that smoke detectors expire every 10 years? When was the last time you checked yours?
#7: Leave it to the Pros
We can help.
Before you dig out the old lights and pull out the ladder, consider letting us take care of the hassle instead! We are pleased to offer custom Christmas light installations. Allow our experts to handle the hassle of hanging your lights for you, and let’s make our neighbourhoods shine extra bright this year.
As a full-service electrical contractor, no job is too big or too small. From simple residential light fixture upgrades to highly complex commercial electrical projects and everything in between, our vast experience and friendly customer service make us the perfect choice for your electrical needs year-round.
The team at Kobalt Systems would like to wish you well in this coming holiday season. We are looking forward to a prosperous 2021, and all the best for a new year.