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electrical tips for holiday lighting

Five Holiday Lighting Tips

This month’s blog features five holiday lighting tips to keep your family safe this holiday season. Did you know that one out of three Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical issues? According, the U.S. Fire Administration that’s the reality each holiday season. This information should serve as a stark warning to homeowners in the Denver metro area, especially to those who love to light up their homes with twinkling lights.

Follow these 5-holiday lighting tips to keep your family safe this holiday season:

#1 Avoid Overloading

If you plan to put up lots of lights this year, this electrical tip is for you. Do NOT overload extension cords, and make sure light strands are distributed through multiple cords. Remember, your extension cord has a wattage limit. Do NOT exceed the wattage limit. Exceeding its wattage rating could cause overheating and might put your home at grave risk. Hire a licensed electrician if you need additional outlets installed to prevent overloads.

#2 Check Labels

Christmas lights should be examined and verified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to ensure safety and prevent fire or electrical hazards in your home. UL is a third-party organization that sets standards for different product categories and tests them to ensure they meet the safety requirements. Always check the labels and purchase ONLY the UL-labeled decorative lights.

#3 Use Indoor/Outdoor Lights Appropriately

It is important to note that Christmas lights come in two types—outdoor and indoor lights. When you try to hang lights outside your home, make sure they are designed specifically for that purpose.

#4 Give Your Lights a Break

It’s not wise to leave Christmas lights on at all times. Yes, they may look joyful and alive, but they can also cause a dramatic rise in your energy bills and, worse, safety issues when left on for a long time. Unplug all the lights before you go to sleep or when you leave for a holiday vacation.

#5 Choose Fire-Resistant Trees

Fire-resistant artificial trees can resist burning much longer than conventional trees. Choosing the right material for your Christmas decorations will help keep your holiday celebrations a safer one. So be sure to buy only a fire-resistant tree and safe-to-use holiday materials for your decorations.

Christmas will be as holly-jolly as you expect when you celebrate safely. Follow these electrical safety tips to keep your holiday season merry and bright.

High West Electric is based in Denver, CO, and serves the entire metro area. Our customer service-based approach ensures that each client enjoys the process from installation to the end product – no matter the size of the job. Our goal is to be YOUR electrician and offer an experience that goes Beyond the Wires. Visit our website to learn more. The team at High West Electric wishes you a wonderful holiday season!

6 Reasons Why Every Household Should Have a Standby Generator

6 Reasons Why Every Household Should Have a Standby Generator

Severe weather, such as high winds, lightning, or ice buildup can cause overhead power lines to break, resulting in loss of electric, having a standby generator can save you money and peace of mind. Depending on the size of the storm and number of homes affected, you could be without power for days.

The Difference Between a Standby Generator and a Portable Generator

A standby generator is a generator that runs on natural gas or liquid propane and is hooked up to an existing gas line. Standby generators are designed to kick in automatically when the power goes out so that you don’t experience an interruption in power.

Because their combustion engines emit fumes, portable generators should be kept outdoors during operation, although extension cords can be used to carry the power indoors.

Portable generators must be manually plugged in and require you pour gas into it to function. They emit fumes and will usually only power a couple of appliances in your home. A standby generator has the capacity to power an entire home or business.

6 Reasons to Own a Generator

  1. Your Refrigerated Food

If your refrigerator and freezer are fully stocked like most homes, you can lose hundreds of dollars in spoiled food. The USDA recommends throwing out perishable foods just four hours after a refrigerator loses power. If, however, you can connect your refrigerator to a generator, you can avoid the expense of restocking.

  1. Computers and Data

Since COVID, more Americans are working from home than ever before. Productivity is important to a company’s bottom line. A generator can provide the continuous power you need to run your desk and/or business for days and prevent damage from a power surge. A power surge is most often caused by a loss of electricity. When the power comes back on, the surge can damage electrical components and even cause a fire. If you have a backup generator, however, it can prevent these hazardous power surges from destroying your equipment, tools, computers, and other electrical devices inside your house. A generator can automatically sense when the power fails and will instantly reroute power to the generator.

  1. Electric Cars

A power outage can completely strand electric car owners. If you depend on an electric car as your main transportation, having a generator will ensure that you can drive to work, get essential groceries, get to an emergency room, even during a blackout.

  1. Medical Equipment

Lack of power to a piece of medical equipment can have detrimental effects. Having a generator will prevent unnecessary medical emergencies, keeping you and your loved ones safe.

  1. Prevent Burst Pipes

Freezing pipes can burst, ruining your plumbing, and possibly causing water damage by flooding your house. With a backup generator, your water heater can still run at normal capacity, providing the necessary heat to prevent your plumbing from freezing.

  1. Property Value

A standby generator is considered a bonus when trying to sell your home. Potential buyers place high value on peace of mind and safety when considering what home to buy. Consumer Reports states that in some cases, your home value can increase by 3 to 5%. In some cases, having a standby generator can also lower your homeowners insurance.

A generator installation requires a licensed electrician. As a certified Generac Service Provider, High West Electric is proud to offer top-of-the-line generators to help you stay safe during rolling blackouts and power outages. We provide standby generator solutions that will greatly reduce the impact of power outages. Contact us today for a free estimate.