The most dangerous time of the year for electrical fires in Des Moines is undoubtedly during the holiday season. Christmas decorations, in particular, lead to a dizzying amount of house fires each year. On average, over 200 homes burn down each year directly because of Christmas Trees and other decorations, and this figure doesn’t include the small, contained fires and those caused by candles. Needless to say, safety should be a major priority when planning out and putting up your holiday decorations.
Electric Decoration Safety & Efficiency
Many electrical problems are caused by outdated technology and old incandescent Christmas lights; when you start digging out your decorations, ask yourself if it is time for an upgrade. While more expensive, modern LED Christmas lights use far less power, generate less heat, almost never require bulb replacements, and last far longer than their incandescent ancestors and inexpensive alternatives. In terms of cost alone, the new lights will likely pay for themselves in energy savings after only one, maybe two, holiday season(s).
For instance, running 1,000 incandescent Christmas lights for a month in Iowa will likely cost about $122, whereas the same amount in LED bulbs (which shine brighter, by the way) will cost less than $1.50. That extra $120 can go a long way towards buying a few better presents or do some real good in the community. By upgrading your lights this holiday season, you’re ensuring that you don’t have to hike up your energy bill to decorate the house each year while keeping the family much safer than they would be with your old lights.
Check Each Strand
For any strand you choose to not upgrade this year, be sure to thoroughly check each strand for frayed wires or cracked bulbs. Incandescent bulbs can easily create a completed electrical circuit with a Christmas Tree, gutter, or just about anything else it may be hung upon, creating a very real fire hazard.
Avoid Power Lines
If you decide to get out the extra-tall ladder that you seem to only use to decorate and un-decorate the house each year, take special care to avoid power lines. One of the easiest ways to get injured when using a tall ladder isn’t actually from falling, but from electrocution while moving the ladder. Take the time to locate all power lines before beginning work and always get down and collapse the ladder before moving anywhere around power lines.
Keep Lights From Fabrics
No carpeting, drapes, curtains, or other fabrics should ever come into contact with your lights. Furthermore, be sure to never wrap cloth-like decorations around your lights. The mesh commonly found at holiday stores is made for wreathing and often contains metallic elements for a shimmering effect, making it especially potent at conducting electricity and starting fires in the event of a short.
Contact Electrical Gurus
We hope you’re safe this holiday season, but if you happen to overload your circuit breakers or have a concern about the lighting of your holiday decorations, be sure to give us a call right away. The electricians at Electrical Gurus want to help to keep every Des Moines family happy and healthy throughout the holiday season.