Monday, July 24, 2017

Do You Have an Outlet This Christmas?

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Christmas tree john silva the fix it professionalsNo, I don’t mean like Tennis, Backgammon or retail therapy. Do you have enough working electrical outlets in your home? Do you know how to decorate for the holidays safely?

The number of outlets and the use of extension cords is probably not something you would think about except at this time of year. I heard the story of one woman “Sandy” who purchased a 1960’s ranch home during the summer many years ago. This was in the days before thorough home inspections.
 
After she moved in she noticed several outlets and switches that either didn’t work or didn’t go to anything – like the light switch in the kitchen which to this day she has no idea what it was supposed to turn on. Or the outlet in the living room that has two plugs but only one works.
 
Does this sound like your home? Or maybe your home is older and doesn’t have enough outlets in the office that was designed to be a bedroom or the bathroom that was invented before hairdryers were.
 
If that’s the case, you’re probably using extension cords. And if you’re decorating for the holidays with lights you’ve probably got a lot of them. Here are a few safety tips for using extension cords and holiday lighting.
 
Never put an extension cord under a rug. This is both a tripping hazard and a fire hazard. If you must use an extension cord in this location consider purchasing one long enough to go around the perimeter of the room and purchase a protective sleeve.
 
Never file or remove the plug blades or the third “grounding” pin to plug the cord into an older socket. Cords which have plugs with one blade larger than the other are polarizing plugs. They are made to help prevent an electric shock. If your sockets are older and cannot accommodate these newer polarizing plugs, you should contact a qualified electrician (like me at The Fix It Professionals) to replace your outlets with new ones.
 Christmas Angels John Silva The Fix it Professionals
Take care not to overload your outlets and your extension cords, especially during the holidays. When you put up your holiday lights be sure to notice the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label for the light string. When in doubt, don’t use more than three strings at a time.
 
Always unplug extension cords when not in use. Even if nothing is plugged into an extension cord, it is still conducting electricity making it a hazard should it be chewed on by a pet or accidentally cut.
 
Never use an electric extension cord as a permanent solution to “not enough outlet syndrome.” Extension cords were never designed to be a permanent fix. Be sure to consider having an electrician come to your home and add an outlet where you need one. It won’t be as expensive as you might think. Besides, having an accidental fire in your home is way more expensive than hiring an electrician.
 
Whether you need help modernizing your outlets, adding new ones or you just need help hanging Christmas lights, we’re here to help.

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