The holidays are rapidly approaching, and with them come a number of unique challenges when it comes to your electrical system. Meeting these challenges is extremely important, particularly as your home could be a busy place over the next several months (even in the middle of a pandemic). With each holiday comes a unique situation for your electrical system, and your home needs to be ready to meet those challenges as they arrive. Here is a brief description of what to expect with each holiday as well as a few practices you can follow.
Halloween is the first entry into the holiday season, and it’s usually the first test of your outdoor electrical system’s integrity. During Halloween, it’s extremely important to have a reliable source of outdoor lighting, notably including walkway and porch lighting leading up to your front door. If you live in a residential neighborhood that is frequented by flocks of costumed trick-or-treaters, you’ll want to make sure that your walkway is safe, well-lit, and free from obstructions that young ones and adults alike might trip over. Nobody wants an injury to ruin their holiday, and likewise, nobody wants to be served notice of a lawsuit because someone accidentally got hurt due to a large crack or small step that may have been hidden due to a lightbulb being burned out.
Likewise, Halloween decorations have been getting more and more elaborate every year, and that means you’ll need a reliable and safe outdoor electrical connection. Before you decorate, make sure your outdoor outlets are properly protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter and covered with a bubble cover that allows you to shield an outlet entirely while still keeping your decorations plugged in.
Thanksgiving is going to be the first test of major strain on your electrical system, especially if you’re hosting friends and family at your home. When hosting a family gathering, particularly one involving a lot of cooking you’ll likely need a lot of power all at once. You’ll have lots of different lights on, all simultaneously, several kitchen appliances will likely all be running at the same time, your TV will likely have the football game or the parade on, as well as any additional accessories like a sound system, and plenty more. Plus, if it’s cold outside, you may need to run your heater as well. All of that means you’ll need an electrical system that can stand up to the strain of the immense load it could have to face.
In the time leading up to Thanksgiving, we recommend taking a good look at your electrical panel and checking for any signs of an issue. If any of your breakers are emitting a high-pitched ringing tone or feel warm to the touch, then the breaker itself might need to be replaced. If you have one particular circuit in your home that tends to blow and shut off when too many things are running, you might want to consider having a pro come out and increase the capacity of this circuit by installing a new, higher-capacity breaker. However, we always recommend having this done professionally, as a pro will be able to tell you whether this is a safe option based on your home’s condition.
Christmas is also another high-power season, particularly due to outdoor decorations. Some people are simple decorators, opting for nothing more than one strand of lights or a decorative sign or two. Some people take things up by a notch or two… or ten. For these people, their home is covered with so many lights and festive decorations you almost need sunglasses when driving by… in what is otherwise the dark of night.
While modern LED holiday lights are much friendlier for your electric bill, they do still require durable and high-quality outdoor electrical equipment. Much like Halloween, you’ll need reliable and protected outdoor outlets that are properly covered. Do take care when putting up your holiday decorations as well—using staples or other ill-advised hanging methods can cause a short-circuit, and short circuits can cause everything from injuries to electrical fires.
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve, as we prepare to say goodbye to the year behind us, it’s time to start thinking about starting anew for the following year. We like to encourage homeowners to take this time to start considering their home as a part of their New Year’s Resolutions, notably focusing on what they can do to improve in the upcoming year. Perhaps now is the time to really dedicate effort to switching to LED lighting. Maybe this year you put safety first and invest in that new electrical panel your home needs.Whatever your plans might be this year, we encourage you to have a safe, festive, and bright holiday season! If you run into any electrical issues that need to be addressed, make the call to Lightning Bug Electric by dialing (404) 471-3847 today.