ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS
It is the festive time and we are pretty sure that you would be either going on holiday or hosting some friends and family at home, given the current state of the world. It is extremely important to be safe whether leaving your home empty or staying safe at home and how to care and keep safe while using those Christmas lights.
Protect your empty home
Not only can a few basic preventative measures work wonders to keep your home safe from power surges and electrical fires – they can also deter criminals who would otherwise be tempted by an empty-looking home.
- Unplug any appliances or gadgets that won’t be in use while you’re gone. Not only will this reduce power wastage, but it will also reduce the risk of something going awry while the house is empty.
- Don’t be tempted to leave your lights on while you’re away to give the illusion of someone being home. Lights left on uncharacteristically all night can be just as telling as a dark home – and you also run the risk of lightbulbs overheating. Instead, invest in an affordable switch or outlet timer or remote control (via smartphone), which can be used to have your lights turn on and off or create the noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night.
- Speaking of lights – motion sensor outdoor lighting is a great security investment! Bright lights are your first line of defence against intruders, and studies show criminals prefer to target homes with dark exteriors to those that are well lit.
- Install a security alarm, or a home monitoring device that allows you to keep an eye on your property remotely via your smartphone.
Stay Safe at Home
Staying home over the summer break? You may be looking forward to a house crowded with extended family for the holidays – or ticking a few of those odd jobs off your To Do list!
- Expecting a full house when the family comes to visit? All of those extra guests are sure to result in a spike in electricity usage – just ensure everyone is using power responsibly. Avoid running additional multi-plugs and extension cords to try and accommodate everyone, and – if small children are coming to stay – plug any unused outlets with safety covers.
- Planning on refreshing your outdoor area or garden? Think before you dig or get up on a ladder! Power lines and electrical cables can be a significant hazard for DIYers, so keep your eyes out for overhead threats and research your underground services when in doubt.
- This time of year the days and nights can be HOT – so you and your family will probably be looking for fun and relaxing ways to cool down over the break! Always remember – water and electricity don’t mix, so keep any electronics far away from sprinklers and pools, and take extra care with portable devices that use a water vessel to cool the air around them.
Christmas lights safety tips
Almost every home is excited to hang up strings of Christmas lights at this time of the year, but like any electrical appliance, these lights could be a hazard.
1. Buy from Reputable Retailers
If you’re purchasing new Christmas lights, be sure to buy from a trusted retailer. Cheaper lights sourced online may not meet SABS safety standards.
2. Choose LED Bulbs
Most new Christmas lights feature LED bulbs, which are not only brighter – but are also more cost effective to run and emit less heat than traditional lights.
3. Avoid a Mess of Cables
If your Christmas tree is going to be positioned in an area with no nearby power outlet, opt for battery-operated lights over running extension cords. Not only can extension cords create a tripping hazard – they can also create electrical hazards since they’re prone to fraying over time.
4. Decorate Thoughtfully
When hanging your other ornaments around your lights, be mindful of not placing flammable decorations directly over lights. Even LED bulbs emit a small amount of heat over time, and a carelessly hung feathered turtledove could spell disaster.
5. Switch Off Before Bed
Be sure to switch all plugged-in Christmas lights off if you leave the house, or before you go to bed.
While being careful and mindful of how you use your appliances, there may be a need for a professional should things go sideways at home or in your business, Kuba has a database of professional electricians in your area that will be of assistance in your time of need.