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Take a second and guess how many Americans decorate their homes during the winter holidays. If you said, “A lot,” then you’re on the right track!

According to the 2013 Electrical Safety Foundation International survey, 86% of Americans decorate their homes as part of the winter holiday celebrations. And two-thirds of respondents use electric lights in their indoor decorating plans, while more than half use lighted décor outside the homes. And more than 60% of those who decorate their homes for the holiday use at least one extension cord in their holiday decorating.

So what do all of these numbers tell us? The opportunity for hazards are very real! With a huge majority of the country decorating their homes and using electric lights around the home, it’s very important to make sure you’re using the proper precautions.

We’re in the middle of December which means you likely have your lights and decorations up already. However, it’s never too late to make sure you’re doing things properly. The ESFI have put out a wealth of resources on the topic of electrical safety during the holidays, but we’ve gone to the effort of compiling some information just for you. Check out these tips now and make sure you and your family are staying safe.

1. Keep the tree safe

If you haven’t purchased your tree yet, make sure you check for freshness. Fresh trees will stay green longer and are less of a fire hazard than dry trees. If you’re using a fake tree, make sure your brand of tree is “Fire Resistant” (there should be a label on the box). Also keep electrical ornaments away from artificial trees with metallic leaves or branch coverings. Finally, keep your tree, artificial or real, away from fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.

2. Be mindful of candles

Candles seem to be a fan favorite, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating. But they’re a dangerous hazard! Many families have begun to use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles in order to avoid such hazards. However, if you must use candles, always leave open flames in sight, place candles away from combustible material and in locations where they can’t be knocked over.

3. Don’t overload your extension cords

The main concern with extension cords may be to hide them from plain sight, but the real concern should be to make sure you’re using the right kind of extension cord and using it responsibly. Don’t EVER attempt to extend the length of a cord by plugging it into another extension cord. Use extension cords on a temporary basis and do not place them in high traffic areas or under carpets, rugs or furniture.

Still have questions about electrical safety? Don’t hesitate to contact us at (484) 390-4966 or contact us via email at service@kellyelectriccoinc.com.