Everybody has a friend like the Griswold’s… You know, the ones that have enough Christmas lights that they can be seen on Google Earth. While Christmas lights are beautiful, Christmas light dangers are very real!
Wiretech owner Mike Jones has one of those friends. One Christmas some time ago, Mike and his wife visited their Griswold-esque friends and sure enough, you needed sunglasses at night because of the extreme illumination! Mike noticed small extension cords going through windows, doors, and anywhere else that they could slip one through in order to plug more of the outside lights to inside electrical outlets.
While discussing the exterior decorations the Griswold-wannabes mentioned that the circuit breakers kept tripping (obviously because there were too many lights plugged in). Christmas light dangers at this friends house were very real! IF THE BREAKER IS TRIPPING, THERE IS A PROBLEM AND IT’S CALLED CIRCUIT OVERLOAD / FIRE HAZARD! Being such good friends, Mike told them that he would get a crew over to their house the next day to rectify this dangerous situation.
He sent the crew over and had them install – on the OUTSIDE of their house – eight receptacles protected by four circuit breakers being controlled by a timer. Needless to say, Mike was their hero. Everything was safe and all the decorations came on and off at predetermined times. The couple used that set up for several years until they moved. Mike got a call the next year around Christmas time from the same friends saying “Mike, you remember that thing you did for our lights at the other house? Well, guess what…we need it here, too!” And so off we went to make them the best and safest lit house in the neighborhood!
If you are like the Griswold’s, be sure to have an electrician come out and evaluate your Christmas illumination needs so that you don’t overload circuits and risk having a catastrophic fire.
Here’s another story as told my Mike Jones:
It was Christmas time and I received a call from a customer that wanted an estimate to wire their attic. As I walked into the house, I couldn’t help but notice the beautifully decorated, large, live Christmas tree. It was beautiful! They had gone through a lot of hard work making it a tree for the memories. While looking at it, I noticed that the lights draped all over it were very worn with some places that had copper wiring exposed and electrical tape wrapped around other areas of the strands. I immediately stopped and had a long discussion about the imminent danger they were in with these old worn out lights and how they could easily short out in the tree causing a huge fire. I suggested (more like insisted!) that they remove all of the lights and buy some brand new ones so that their beautiful tree would be remembered more for its beauty rather than the tree that burned their house down. The customers had no idea of the danger that existed with the lights they had used for several years. Immediately they removed them and purchased new ones for a very safe Christmas.
Christmas lights are not that expensive and should be replaced every few years or whenever they show wear. New lights are cheaper than a new home and than the other possibly life safety problems that may happen with a fire.
Be safe and have a Merry Christmas!