It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. The cold weather has finally arrived in New Mexico and we’ve even had some snow flurries to make it feel like Christmas is around the corner. It is time to pull out your Christmas lights and decorations. If you didn’t get started last weekend you are probably thinking about pulling them out this weekend. This time of year can be a fun exciting time. But it is very important for you to think about your safety when decorating for the holidays. We have compiled a list of safety tips to consider as you prepare to decorate.
- Double check all light strands – Look for broken bulbs, frayed strands, and exposed wire. Check for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
- Replace broken bulbs – Replace these with the correct bulbs and wattage. Be careful when handling broken and exposed fuses and make sure the lights are unplugged so you don’t shock yourself.
- Replace old lights – If you have an old string of lights consider replacing them. Newer lights have fused plugs to prevent sparks in the event the lights short circuit. Older lights can have exposed fuses and could possibly spark if they short circuit.
- Use a GRCI (grown fault circuit interrupter outlet) – also known as a surge protector to help prevent overloading the circuit. Especially for your outdoor lights that are exposed to the elements and debris.
- Keep your real tree watered – this prevents the needles from drying out and sparking a fire.
- Avoid heat sources – keep your tree away from fireplaces or other heat sources.
- Use correct lights – Outdoor lights are designed to withstand the outdoor elements. Indoor lights can crack and damage when used outside.
- Turn off your lights – It’s always a good idea to turn off your lights at bedtime and when you leave your house.
- Inspect ladder prior to using – Check for cracks, missing feet, loose rungs, etc.
- Secure your ladder – When using a ladder to decorate trees or your house, make sure the ladder is securely on the ground, not wobbly.
- Watch your steps – Don’t ever step on the top two rungs.
- Center your weight – Make sure your weight is always centered over the ladder. When you lean too far from your center of gravity it is easy to lose your footing and fall.
- Consider the weather conditions – Stay off your roof if any moisture is present like rain, snow, ice, etc.
- Get a helper – Always have a spotter present to help secure the ladder.
This time of year is always a wonderful time of year. Many homeowners spend a lot of time decorating their homes for the holidays. Making sure to take the proper precautions will hopefully ensure that you and your family have a safe wonderful holiday season. If you’re considering adding traditional luminarias or faralitos to your Christmas decorations make sure you check out these safety tips provided by the City of Albuquerque.
TLC is committed to providing tips like these to be a valuable resource for our customers and the community. If you have any questions regarding electrical issues, ask our professionals. From our family to yours we hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season.