Presented to you by the Virginia Chapter International Association of Electrical Inspectors

Click here to download these tips in a printable PDF document.

1. Check Holiday Decorations
Check all decorations for defects and cuts. Follow all manufacturer instruction on the package for installation.  We recommend using insulated staples to help preventing damaging the insulation.  And remember to remove all exterior decorations after the holidays; most are not made to be exposed to the weather for long periods of time

2. Extension cords
Extension cords are designed for temporary use. Do not use an extension cord for permanent wiring. Have a licensed electrician install the proper receptacle in the areas you have extension cords. Of course during the holiday season’s extension cords are needed. Be sure to inspect the cords for nicks, cuts. If the extension cord does have cuts or nicks DO NOT USE THEM! Extension cords are cheaper than a new house. Do not over load extension cords. All extension cords have a tag with the rating of how much load they can carry.

3. Exterior Receptacle covers
If you install exterior decorations you should use what is known as “In Use” covers. This protects you and your decorations from the weather when they are plugged in.

4. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
All out door receptacles are required to be on ground fault circuit interrupters, same with kitchen counter top receptacles and bathroom receptacles. The GFCI’s have a TEST and RESET button on them. You should use the test button regularly to test your GFCI. It is recommended that GFCI be tested once a month.

5. Smoke Detectors
Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and either vacuum or blow clean of trapped dust once a year. We recommend doing this when you are hanging your holiday decorations.

6. Check the wattage of light bulbs in all light fixtures
All light fixtures have a label with the rated size wattage light bulb required for that light. This also includes table lamps, but especially light fixtures with covers for they hold the heat in.  If the light fixture is missing its label than we recommend 60-watt maximum for safety.

7. Remember to turn all decorations off when not at home
And to remove decorations after the holiday.