Residential Wiring - The Right Way!
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Well it's that time of year, the Christmas holiday season, with all its decorations and of course that would not be complete without a Christmas tree in the living room. However every year there are injuries and tragedies that happen during the holiday season.
If you have a real Christmas tree, make certain that it is well watered (it could save your families lives as well as your home)...
In addition to ensuring a real tree is well watered, always every year check over the entire tree lighting strings, look for damaged wires, exposed sockets, plug connectors, make certain any extension cords are in perfect condition and are rated at a higher power capacity than required. this may take some calculations to determine exactly the total power required for all powered items on the tree.
Many years ago when I was growing up we had the Christmas tree up for 2 weeks and was taken down shortly after new years, and even though the tree was well watered, at the end of that 2 weeks a lot of pine needles was dried out and was left on the floor as the tree was removed from the house, some people like to put their tree up earlier in December which increases the time period in which the tree could dry out.
When a real tree is mounted into a stand make certain that the base of the tree trunk is not already dry, that could impede the ability of the tree to draw up water into it, if the base is dry then cut a little bit off the bottom of the tree trunk to expose the moist sap like surface and then mount it into the stand and water it as soon as it is up.
Most Artificial trees have a metal core, which can become a conductor to damaged / exposed lighting sockets / wiring which in turn can become a shock hazard.
Do not smoke around the tree itself. Some types of decorations are also very flammable and can burn quickly.
Keep all sources of heat away from the tree, such as candles, fireplaces, portable heaters. If the real tree is close to a furnace floor grate, it could accelerate the drying out of the tree itself, if there is no choice but to place the tree above a furnace grate, then you should consider closing the hot air flow on that one grate until after the tree has been removed from the home. Shut off the tree lights when you go to bed. Make certain you have a working smoke detector. Although few people actually do but read the warnings and instructions that with Christmas tree lights & decoration.
By: Donald Kerr
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