15035785_sIf you are planning on decorating your home this holiday season – either inside or outside – make sure that you are being thoughtful of electrical safety.

Each year, thousands of homes suffer damage from house fires caused by misuse of electrical appliances and gadgets. In addition to the extra electrical activity around most homes this time of year, there are various storm patterns that can cause damage to electricity.

To avoid any kind of disaster ruining your family time this holiday season, make sure to follow these electrical safety tips:

  • While candles are not electricity, they do come in handy if the power goes out. However, there are some things to consider if you have to burn candles during a power outage. If you have small children, make sure that the candles are not set on a surface that is within their reach. Children are very curious and if they see a lit flame in the darkness they will be drawn to it. Also, make sure to blow out the candles before you go to bed, or if you plan on leaving the house.
  • If you have a decorated tree in your home this season, make sure that it is kept watered if it is live. A live tree can quickly dry out inside of a home, especially with the heater going and drawing the moisture out of the indoor air. Keeping your live tree well-watered will dramatically reduce the chances of it catching on fire. If you have an artificial tree, there is much less danger but it should be purchased from a reputable store and it should be labeled “flame retardant. Also, if the tree comes with lights already on it, make sure they are labeled and certified by Underwriters Laboratory.
  • As you pull out any inflatables or strands of lights to decorate (both indoor and outdoor kinds) look carefully at the cords and plugs. Check for any damage or chewing. During the off season it is not unusual for rodents to chew through cardboard boxes that are stored. A damaged strand of lights will pose a serious fire hazard to your home.

Keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season. Stay mindful of electrical safety and don’t take for granted that all of your decorations that require electricity are safe to use. Double-check everything before you install and being using them.