Did you know that, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Christmas trees cause an average of 260 fires per year? Keeping your home safe from electrical and fire hazards can be especially challenging during the holidays. What simple tips and tools can you rely on to prevent fires and serious accidents during the holiday season and throughout the year?
Holiday Safety Tips
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), up to 116,500 light strands have not met basic safety standards since they began monitoring and inspecting holiday decorations and lights. Homeowners can get through the holidays without incident (or at least without fires and electrical accidents) by following these tips:
- Securely and safely fasten lights. Lights should not be loose (making outdoor lights susceptible to wind damage) or trailing along the floor. Homeowners should also avoid installing or placing lights using staples or other sharp or jagged materials that may tear, or otherwise, damage lights and electrical wiring.
- Do not overcrowd outlets and extension cords. The CPSC reminds homeowners to use no more than three strands of lights per extension cord.
Desk Grommets and Conduit
Promoting safety and reducing hazards year-round depends on keeping electrical parts and wiring intact. For example, desk grommets typically consist of circular or oblong fixtures that fit into desktop or tabletops. These fixtures redirect cords, cables, and wiring away from sharp edges and corners, or sometimes even jagged metal pieces. Tech-savvy homeowners can use small or large rubber grommets to prevent overheating and vibration in desktop PCs.
Conduit can also be used outdoors, or in attics, basements, and garages, to prevent electrical and fire hazards. Conduit shields wires and cables from the elements and sharp rodents teeth. Metal conduit, also commonly referred to as electrical metal tubing (EMT), can also be used to protect sensitive circuits from electromagnetism.
Preventing residential fires and other serious accidents requires diligence year-round. Keep your home safe by following basic holiday safety tips and using desk grommets and conduit to keep household wiring secure and intact. More on this.