Precautions should be taken with seasonal decor


From Halloween to Christmas decorations, homeowners should not overlook taking care of the wires that make the holiday cheer possible.

From overloaded circuits to exposed wires because of mistreatment, seasonal decorations can create a fire hazard all too easily.

Dameon Pesanti with Clark Public Utilities said it’s quite common for people to overload a circuit with power strips.

“They want to use those very cautiously because if they overload a circuit, they can risk starting an electrical fire or popping the breakers repeatedly on their house,” Pesanti said.

He added people should make sure the extension cord is rated for external use, as well.

“Another thing that I think is very tempting for folks to do, but they should definitely not do, is run cords under rugs or any carpets,” Pesanti said. “Don’t run them behind furniture that moves easily or through doorways. All of those things can damage that coating on the cord and lead to exposed wires, which can get somebody shocked or again, start a fire.”

If the coating on a cord wears down from moving around too much or rubbing against a staple or nail, the wires inside the cord will become exposed, as well.

When trying to hang cords, people should avoid stapling or nailing the cords and invest in hooks that can be utilized for hanging the cord.

Pesanti also recommends people stop using incandescent bulbs on holiday light strings or in the decorations. Pesanti said incandescent bulbs lose 90% of their energy to heat, which is dangerous and also use a lot of power, which will increase utility bills. LED bulbs use a fraction of the power and produce virtually no heat, he added.