There is a lot to love about the holidays. From nostalgic sights and smells, to precious moments with loved ones, we understand why this time of the year is often called the best time of the year. Now, while all this family friendly fun is great, here at Volt we want to take a moment to provide some practical holiday electrical tips that will both keep you safe and help you save some money on your electrical bill during this winter season.
Electrical Tips for the Winter Holiday
- Use extension cords with care. Christmas time comes with more lights and decorations. With that comes the need for more outlets. Extension cords are super helpful, sure, but unfortunately people often either overuse them or use them poorly. Never plug extension cords into each other. This is actually very dangerous, as they weren’t designed to carry electrical loads in this way. Also be cautious of covering extension cords with flammable items like carpets or tree skirts. Cords can generate enough heat to ignite cloth!
- Avoid overloading outlets. Remember that your outlets are tied to a breaker in your electrical panel, and that breaker was designed to handle a specific amount of power safely. When you exceed this you’re dealing with a flipped breaker at best, and potential electrical fires at worst. If you need more electrical access, talk to us about outlet installation.
- Inspect electrical cords. This one may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Damaged cords should be replaced immediately to avoid risk of potential fire and shock. Old cords often can begin to crack as they become dried out over time. If you are unsure whether your cords need to be replaced it may be best to contact a professional.
- Use caution in the kitchen. During the holidays we tend to use our kitchen a little more than normal. Whether its baking Christmas cookies or preparing a mini feast for your entire family, a major part of the holiday season is the food. However, the majority of all home fires are started in the kitchen. By being aware of this and taking the necessary precautions you can help mitigate this risk. Keep an eye on your appliances and always use caution when in the kitchen, holidays or not.
- Keep lights uncovered. When possible switch to LEDs. LED lights use a tenth or less of the power of incandescent lights. Plus, they last for years. If that’s not a deal, we don’t know what is. If you still use incandescent bulbs, make sure to keep them away from materials like cloth or wood. Whether using LEDs or not, never cover your lights with anything flammable. These lights put off enough warmth to spark a fire.
- Water your tree. Tree fires are strangely common. Why? Because they begin to dry out. That can equal a fast fire if you have lights on your tree. Be sure to prolong its life by keeping it adequately watered. Additionally, try to not leave your lights on over extended periods of time or when you are not home.
- Make use of programmable lights and timers. Using timers or programmable lights can save you bundles on your holiday electrical expenses. Additionally, by appropriately using these systems you will keep your lights less hot and minimize the risk of fire.
- Consider major electrical upgrades. When is the last time you had your home inspected by a professional electrician? With a little extra time, off from work this holiday season now may be the most flexible time for you to squeeze a home inspection into your schedule. Every year electrical needs seem to increase and failing to keep up with those demands in a safe and efficient manner could be putting your home at risk.
At Volt Electrical Services we want to do everything we can to help your home be as safe and festive as possible, both this year and every year. So, whether your home needs to take some of these tips into consideration or you are already breezing through the winter, we want you to know we are on your side! You can contact us today to discuss your electrical needs.