Holiday Outdoor Lighting: Why You May Need New Circuits
Decking your house this Christmas? Installing multiple lights around the house and yard without a proper outlet setup can cause electrical fires and short circuits. Protect your home and family and consider installing new circuits for your Christmas lights.
Good to Know:
All electricity in your home goes through your circuit breaker box. Power is distributed through a branch of circuits that run to each room. All electrical appliances require their own “dedicated circuit”, a circuit serving only one appliance. The National Electrical Code requires all fixed or major appliances such as stoves and washers & dryers, be served separately and not shared to prevent overloads and increase safety. Too much strain on the circuit causes the breaker to trip, in turn shutting down what may be a critical device, like a refrigerator. If this happens and you aren’t aware, you can end up with a leak and spoiled food. Also, if you’ve had a lot of short circuiting lately, it’s a good idea to let us assess your wiring. Consider what appliances you already have running on the same circuits so that you don’t overburden them. If you’re planning to light up the outside of your home, installing dedicated new circuits for Christmas lights is the safest way to go.
Follow these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi)…
- Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations are marked for proper use
- Outdoor electrical 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
- Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines
- Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire
- Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights together
- Water your Christmas tree daily
- Keep all decorations at least 3 feet away from heating equipment or an open flame
- Purchase electrical decorations from reputable retailers and that are approved by a national recognized testing lab such as UL, Intertek, or CSA