When the holidays arrive and you start to decorate the Christmas tree, it is essential that you keep safety precautions in mind. Just by putting lights on the tree, you could be putting your family at risk due to fire and electrical hazards. Follow these important safety tips when decorating the tree.
Be Extra Careful With Live Trees
Live Christmas trees are often ideal since they smell wonderful and have real tree branches instead of plastic ones, but they can also increase your risk for fire. Before decorating your tree, make sure you are following the basic rules of having a live tree. These include watering it on a daily basis, not placing it near any sources of heat, and making sure you never keep your lights turned on for too long. If they start to heat up after being on for multiple days, it could cause the tree to catch fire.
Set the Lights on a Timer
Another helpful tip when decorating your Christmas tree is to use a timer that the string of lights can plug into. You might sometimes turn the lights on at night and fall asleep on the couch or get busy in the evenings and forget to turn off the lights before bed. In this case, you are covered since the timer causes the lights to go off automatically. These are often set based on the number of hours you want the lights on for. So if you typically turn them on around 6:00 pm, you can set it to have lights go off after 4 hours, which is often the time by which your family would be in bed.
Only Use Lights in Good Condition
Before you put holiday lights on your Christmas tree, make sure you inspect the cords and bulbs and see that they are in good condition. If the string of lights is missing any lights or has broken bulbs, replace them. Check the condition of the cord itself, looking for signs of cracks, wear, corrosion, and other types of damage. Never use a cord that shows damage or where the plastic coating is starting to wear away. Also double-check that you are using lights for indoor use, as some of them are only meant to hang outside your home.
If you have signs of bad electrical wiring, such as flickering lights, frequent blown fuses, or outlets that feel hot to the touch, talk to an electrical contractor like those at D & D Electric Enterprises, Inc. before you set up your tree and plug the lights in.