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December & January – Most Home Fires Occur

Nope, we’re not electricians over here at Harker Heating & Cooling.  But it’s really important to keep our families and homes safe, not just this time of year, but always.  Here’s some information on how to keep you and yours extra safe this Holiday Season.

Electrical Safety Over the Holidays
There may be no other time of year when we put our electrical system to the test than the holiday season. It starts with the pressure cooking marathon of Thanksgiving and ends with a (hopefully) well-planned bang on the New Year. Strings of lights and bright stars on trees, outdoor lights strung along the rooftops, and the extra device-charging that seems so imperative when the teens are home all put an extra strain on our home electrical systems. And that’s not even including the electrical HVAC systems we rely on during this season. With such heavy use, we also need to keep some safety tips in mind to protect our outlets, our fuse box, and our sanity in the event those devices lose their juice.

Our electrical systems are designed with safety in mind, but they need some help from us to maintain the highest levels of protection during this somewhat hazardous time of year. In fact, most home fires occur in December and January, during the holidays, when most of us are at home enjoying our families. Make sure this year is a good one by keeping electrical safety and prevention in mind.

Keep Your Electrical System Hazard-Free This Holiday
Here are a few tips to avoid shocks and prevent fire this holiday season.

Don’t overload your outlets. Overloaded outlets – extension cords and multiple outlets plugged into a single port – are a recipe for a fire. Though everyone should be careful, those who live in older homes should be particularly cautious. Not all older homes were built with standardized electricity in mind.

Inspect your decorations. Whether you’re pulling out some of the older lights from the attic or have a bought a brand new, brightly lit angel for the tree, check the cords for fraying or damage. If they are older decorations, make sure they have a certification label, which means they’ve been tested for safety.

Check your outlets. Loose connections or damaged sockets can lead to electrical hazards. Make sure your electric system is ready before you light up your tree. If you notice an outlet not working, talk to a professional. Electricity is not a safe DIY option.

Don’t leave candles burning. It may seem obvious, but lit candles are still one of the leading causes of house fires. Candles are a great way to make your home feel cozy during the long days of winter, and many people use them because of their fresh smells, but they aren’t without risk. If you are prone to forget lit candles, try electric candles for lights or air freshening sprays.

Protect live Christmas trees. If your family puts up a live tree during the holidays, know it comes with some extra precautions. Keep your tree well-watered; a dry tree is like kindling for a spark. Also, turn off the twinkling lights before heading for some shut eye.

Prevention Is Still the Best Cure
You’re likely realizing your mom was right about a lot of things – one of the most crucial when it comes
to electrical safety is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Enjoy the holidays and keep
your family safe with these easy steps.

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