While decorations and family reunions is the hallmark of Christmas, more often than not, it’s punctuated with losses and tragedy. Indeed, high incidences of home fires have been reported during winter holiday breaks by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Data from the NFPA incriminate holiday decoration with Christmas tree fires, causing the greatest damage.
Below are some cautionary steps you may take to prevent your home from being added to the list of home fires induced by holiday decorations:
Consumer Manual Leaflet
As a standard, always read the manufacturers’ instructions on Christmas lights, whether commercial or residential. Normally, the manufacturer’s instruction will contain the do’s and the don’ts of how to use the commercial Christmas lights. For instance, “Ingress Protection Ratings” is a code that indicates if the system is waterproof. Keep the manual for future reference as recommended by the Electrical Safety Council.
Before you plug the twinkling fairy lights of Christmas, carry out a visual inspection. Confirm that all bulbs are intact and that the electrical cable of the lighting system is fully insulated. Frayed insulations, missing or broken bulbs and exposed live cables should be repaired before plugging the lights. It’s advisable that all your replacements are like for like in nature.
Keep Up with the Times
The evolution of Christmas lights goes way back into history. Historical documents indicate 1882, as the year Edward Johnson (an associate of Tommy Edison) invented the first commercial Christmas light. This invention was in response to the hazards inherent with the candle lights to light up Christmas trees. Interesting innovations have taken place since then.
From the incandescent bulb to the series-connected bulbs (one bulb failure incapacitates the entire system) to the current light emitting diode LED, the latter is recommended by the ESC. Consider changing your Christmas lights from traditional incandescent bulbs to LED.
Christmas lights have to be set up manually, but the ABCs of electricity safety must be upheld. They include connecting the lights via a ground fault circuit interrupter socket, a safe distance from flammable materials, and turning off the lights when you go to bed. Monkeying with the wiring system is a no-no. Above all, keep it safe find it safe next time you need it.’
The hazard associated with home decorative lights during holidays such as electrocution and fires can be significantly reduced if you put to practice the aforesaid cautionary measures.