‘Tis the season for festive lighting and decorations to celebrate the holidays! Learn how to keep the holiday spirit alive while avoiding an electrical disaster. The #1 thing to avoid this season is an electrical overload. An electrical overload is caused by a single outlet drawing too much power for too many lights, inflatable characters, or other decorations. Even if you use multiple outlets, the amount of electricity that is being used can still overload your system. Flickering or dimming of lights Buzzing, crackling, or sizzling sounds from your outlet When in use, sparking coming from the outlet When in use, warm outlet or wall Discolored electrical cords Circuit breakers turning off frequently To prevent an electrical fire it’s best to call an experienced electrician to inspect your outlets, cords, and circuit breaker to inform you of any potential hazards. Here a few tips that you can follow on your own: Use low-wattage lights. Since LED lights use about 20% of the electricity that an incandescent light uses, these are not only a safer option, but will also help you save on your electricity costs. Inspect your lights prior to using them. Throw away any strands that may be broken or frayed. Light strands that are damaged can easily spark a fire. Use a power strip that has a built in surge protector that will protect your power strip from overloading. For more information on holiday light safety and fire safety, check out our blog posts: Holiday Light Safety Tips, What To Do After a Fire (immediately after a fire, as well as what to do within the next 24 and the following 48 hours) and Tips After a Fire – What To Do and Not To Do.