Image sourced from Christmas Vacation.

Did you pull a Clark Griswold this winter season and become an expert in exterior lighting? If you outfitted your home with 25,000 lights, twinkling or not, there’s a right way to plug them all in. Don’t risk overloading your outlets this holiday season and potentially causing damage to your home. Here are some easy to follow tips to make sure your home stays festive and safe this season:

How much is too much?

If your garage outlet is supporting dozens of outlets, extension cords and adapters, you might want to consider downsizing, Clark. In fact, most electrical outlets can only handle 120 volts of electricity. Yet, according to the National Electrical Code says that outlets should only use 80 percent of their electrical capacity. If homeowners try to use more than that, electrical breakers often trip or there is a risk of starting an electrical fire.

Clark Griswold isn’t the only fellow that is at risk of an electrical house fire. In fact, more than 47,700 home fires occur every year due to electrical and mechanical failures or malfunctions within the home, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. A major cause of these fires is overloaded electrical circuits.

Warning signs 

Practice electrical safety this holiday season and spare Aunt Bethany’s cat by keeping an eye out for these warning signs. If your lights flicker, blink or dim often, this is a tell-tale sign that you’re overloading your electrical outlets. Similarly, if you hear crackling, sizzle or buzzing, it’s time to unplug the Christmas tree, Clark! If circuit breaks frequently trip or you’re spending more time fixing blown fuses, consider plugging Santa and his jolly entourage into another outlet. Finally, burning odors and discoloration around outlets are evident signs that your outlets are being overloaded.

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 50 percent of electrical fires can be prevented by installed Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters. To pinpoint other preventive measures and schedule an electrical safety inspection, contact your electrical experts at Nies Electric.

Happy Holidays from your friends and family at Nies Electric!