Category Archives: Electrical Safety Holidays

Wrapping Up The Holidays, Preventing Winter Electrical Fires


Nearly half of home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. Keep your home and family safe after the holidays with these post-holiday year-end tips.

25% of holiday fires are caused by dectorations
Never leave holiday decorations on while sleeping or away from home
210 home fires a year are caused by Christmas trees
Fires caused by Christmas trees are usually deadlier than other fires
Inspect and dispose of any damaged decorations
Decorations are temporary, remove them after the holidays
Separate and label indoor and outdoor dectorations
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters can prevent 50% of home electrical fires
Store decorations in a dry location that is safely out of reach of children and pets

Decorating Safely with Kids

Read manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels for any decoration that will be used around young children, like electronic trains or animatronic dolls. Note if it is appropriate for their age group and determine whether adult supervision is required; plan accordingly.
Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach.
Never leave children unsupervised when candles are lit.
Instead of traditional candles, try using battery-operated candles so you can avoid the hazards associated with open flames.
Strings of lights and garland are staples of holiday decorating, but they can also pose a strangulation hazard. They should never be used as playthings.
In homes with small children, try to avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable. Otherwise, remember to place glass and breakable ornaments out of the reach of small children.
Avoid putting Christmas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other small, “mouth-sized” decorations near the ground or on lower limbs where they may be easily reached by young children.
Holly berries, wax fruits, and other decorating items also present choking hazards. Remember to keep this in mind when arranging your decorations.
Cover any unused outlets on extension cords with plastic caps or electrical tape to prevent children from coming in contact with the live circuit.
Place electrical cords out of the reach of small children.
Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations or cords.

Decorating Your Home Safely During The Holidays


According to the National Fire Protection Association, 860 home fires caused by holiday decorations occur each year. An additional 210 home fires are caused by Christmass trees per year. Follow these steps to ensure you decorate your home safely during the winter holidays. Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations are marked for proper use. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Inspect all lights, decorations, and extension cords for damage before using. Water your Christmas tree daily.

Extension Cord Related Hazards this Holiday Season

 
While extension cord safety is a year round concern, use of these devices is often more prominent during the holidays due to the increased use of electrical lights and decorations. By following a few simple safety guidelines hopefully you can help prevent dangerous mistakes with extension cords this holiday season.
 

 
Purchase cords from authorized retailers. Never use an extension cor that does not carry the certification label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water and well-protected from the elements.
Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use – indoor and outdoor – and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used. Examine cords before each use. Cracked, frayed, or otherwise damaged cords should be replaced immediately. Do not overload exension cords. Multiple plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacles, they cannot be chained together. Extension cords are meant to provide a temporary solution and should not be used as a long-term pr permanent electrical circuit. Do not run cords through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors.

Christmas Decorating Safety


Planning is essential to reducing stress during this holiday season. ARC Electric Company can’t help you manage your budgets, guests, and traveling; we can help you plan for safe holiday decorations!
 
 
 
*If you haven’t already done so this month, test all smoke alarms. Replace the batteries, or alarm if it is not working properly.
 
*Inspect all electrical decorations and replace any that are cracked, frayed, or have other breaks in the insulation of any wires.
 
*Plan out the placement of your holiday lighting so that no more than three strands are strung together (unless using LEDs).
 
*Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
 
*Be sure to check each product label or packaging to determine whether it is intended for indoors or outdoors and use accordingly.
 
*Arrange your decorations so that no outlet is overloaded and no cords will be pinched by furniture or positioned under rugs.
 
*Be sure all heating sources or open flames, such as a candle or fireplace, are given a three foot buffer from any decorations.

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Air Conditioner and Fan Safety

 
As we wrap up National Electrical Safety Month with ESFI.org, I found a great article on air conditioning and fan safety to keep in mind as the weather gets warm.
 
Hot weather brings increased use of air conditioners. Contact with electric current from air conditioners accounts for a significant number of electrocutions and electrical injuries each year. ESFI recommends that you always contact a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home, including the installation and services of air conditioning and other cooling equipment.
 
Facts and Statistics
* According to the CPSC, 15% of consumer-product related electrocutions are attributed to large appliances. These electrocutions occur most commonly while someone is attempting to service or repair the appliance.
* In 2006, an estimated 33,500 injuries were reported to hospital emergency rooms as involving air conditioners, fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and heat pumps. The leading types of injuries were laceration (14,890), contusion or abrasion (6,110), and strain or sprain (4,430).
* In 2006, air conditioning or related equipment was involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 270 civilian injuries and $200 million indirect property damage.
* In 2003-2006, the 7,000 reported home structure fires per year involving air conditioning and related equipment included 2,400 per year involving central and room air conditioners specifically and 3,700 per year involving fans.
* In 1995-2003 (excluding 1999, which was not reported), there were 11.5 electrocution deaths per year involving air conditioners and 4.3 electrocution deaths per year involving fans.
 
Cooling Equipment Safety Tips
 
* Keep safety in mind when selecting cooling equipment for your home.
* Have a qualified, licensed electrician install and service any electrical equipment in your home.
* Have electric-powered equipment inspected and maintained regularly for safety.
* Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
 
 
Summer Safety
 
 

Childproof Decorating Tips

 
The holidays are a magical time of year for children…wonderful candies, shiny new toys and glitzy decorations. The most cherished traditions of the holiday season can also be hazardous. The safety of our kids must be a concern during the holiday season.
 
* Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels for any decoration that will be used around young children, such as electronic trains or animatronic dolls. Note if it is appropriate for their age group and determine whether adult supervision is required; plan accordingly.
 
* Instead of traditional candles, try using battery-operated candles so you can avoid the hazards associated with open flames.
 
* Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach in a locked cabinet.
 
* Never leave children unsupervised when candles are lit.
 
* Strings of lights and garland are staples of holiday decorating, but they can also pose a strangulation hazard. They should never be used as playthings.
 
* In homes with small children, try to avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable. Otherwise, remember to place glass and breakable ornaments out of the reach of small children.
 
* Avoid putting Christmas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other small “mouth-sized” decorations near the ground or on lower limbs where they may be easily reached by young children.
 
* Holly berries, wax fruits, and other decorating items can present choking hazards.
 
* Remember to keep this in mind when arranging your decorations.
 
* Cover any unused outlets on extension cords with plastic caps to prevent children from coming in contact with the live circuit.
 
* Place electrical cords out of the reach of small children.
 
* Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations, or cords.

 
 
 

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

christmas-tree-blank
Follow these basic safety guidelines to help prevent electrical and fire hazards related to the use of Christmas trees.
 
*When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.
 
*Cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing the tree in the stand and filling with water to ensure water absorption.
 
*Because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water by refilling daily.
 
*When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” This label indicates that the tree is more resistant to burning.
 
*Don’t use electrical ornaments or light strings on artificial trees with metallic leaves or branch coverings.
 
*Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.
 
*When trimming a tree, only use non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.