While the last few years have been pretty tough for many people, one of the best things to come out of our time at home has been some fantastic holiday decorations. And we are not just talking about festive winter displays. There are now light-up outdoor decorations for every holiday you can imagine, from a giant inflatable Cupid to a happy bunny and ghoulish-looking pumpkins. But the one thing that all these fun features have in common is that you need to remember electrical safety whenever you get the desire to show some spirit with outdoor lighting and décor.
GFCI Is The Only Way To Go
Any time you are plugging in a holiday display, lights, or even a fan outside your home, be sure to use a GFCI outlet. All the outdoor outlets around your home should be protected by a GFCi or ground fault circuit interrupter. These outlets have the small red tab or button in the center and can trip much like a breaker in your electrical panel. The purpose of these safety outlets is to prevent anyone from getting a nasty electrical shock or worse if there is an issue with the circuit. If your exterior outlets are not GFCI, call (870) 335-2788 to request an appointment with the licensed electricians at Chamberlain Electric for GFCI upgrades.
Beware Of Circuit Overloads
When you are going all out with outside decorations or lights, be sure you are not setting yourself up for the lights to go all out because of a circuit overload. The simple rule is that only one item should be plugged into each receptacle. So an outlet with two receptacles can have two fun things plugged in but no more. Never be tempted to use power strips to plug a half dozen items into one outlet. You are sure to overload the circuit, and the result could be an electrical fire in your home.
Save Some Cash
Outdoor lighting is great, but it can be hard to remember to turn the display off before bed. The cost-effective way to save some cash is to use affordable timers that plug into your outlet and turn the lights on and off for you. These devices are very affordable and will eliminate the wasted electricity because you forgot to pull the plug.
Old Wires = Big Trouble
Even if you have a string of lights or inflatable display that is your absolute favorite, when the electrical cord gets damaged, or the insulation is cracked or worn out, it is time for a replacement. Either say goodbye or have it rewired by a qualified professional. The same is true for any outdoor extension cord. If the insulation or plastic covering is damaged, get a new one. It is a small price to pay to prevent an electrical shock or electrical house fire.
For any concerns about outdoor electrical outlet safety or any electrical component in your home, call (870) 335-2788 to set up an appointment with the licensed electricians at Chamberlain Electric.