The holiday season is finally here, which means it is time to start playing it safe with electricity so that everyone can stay safe and sound. Here are four safety tips that will ensure your holiday seasons stays bright and that you have something to be thankful for:

1. Buy New or Inspect Your Electrical Decorations Prior to Use.

Some homeowners choose to buy brand new decorations every single year. This may be because they don't have the space to store lights and décor in their home. However, not everyone has this luxury. So, if you don't opt to buy new electrical decorations year after year and choose to instead use the same décor each year, you need to ensure that you carefully inspect your decorations prior to using them. It isn't uncommon for your decorations to suffer damage from being used or from simply being put up in storage. After all, mice do get hungry. All it takes is one loose or bare wire to shock you or to start a serious house fire.

2. Keep a Count of Your Strands.

When decorating the exterior of your home, you can quickly lose count of how many strands of lights you have connected to one another. However, it is very important that you maintain a proper count. Otherwise, you can quickly overload your electrical outlet, which can cause a circuit breaker to trip or potentially start a fire. The United States Department of Energy reports that you can safely connect as many as 25 strands of LED Christmas lights without having to worry about overloading an outlet. Plus, these LED lights are also cooler and use less energy than traditional incandescent lights.

3. Turn Off All Decorations Before Going to Bed or Leaving Home.

When you hit the sheets to are going to be away from the house, make sure to always blow out any candles and turn off any decorations – better yet, unplug them. Not only will this save on your electricity bill, but it will prevent an unnecessary electrical fire. Speaking of candles, whenever possible, try to use battery-operated candles rather than the real thing. While live flame candles are more appealing, they're also more dangerous.

4. Test All Smoke Alarms.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately 210 home fires are started by Christmas trees and 860 home structure fires are started by holiday decorations. Therefore, it is crucial that you ensure your smoke alarms are in proper working order during the holiday season.  

For more advice on keeping your home safe from electrical issues this holiday season, consult with an experienced electrician or a company like Kunselman Electric, Inc. Don't hesitate to have your electrical system inspected to ensure that it doesn't need an upgrade before you plug in all your holiday decorations. 

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