The holiday season is often a time for decorating both inside and outside your home. This means lots of things like extra lighting and extension cords all over the place. While it's fine to be excited about getting into the holiday spirit, as a homeowner, you also have a responsibility to practice good electrical safety while putting up the new decor. Here are 3 electrical safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season.

Never Overload an Extension Cord

Just because your extension cord has more than one outlet on it doesn't mean you should be using every single one. Extension cords can overheat and start a fire if you are not careful. Also, double check the maximum voltage the extension cord can handle and match that up against the voltage of the various things you are plugging into it. Label all of your cords with this information, so that you don't forget in future years.

Inspect Your Decorations Carefully Before and After Installation

Before you begin stringing up the lights, carefully inspect the full length of cord. Wires can begin to fray over time, causing a potential fire hazard. Throw out any lights that aren't in top shape. When putting up the lights, avoid using a staple gun or anything else that can puncture one of the wires. Continue inspecting your lights periodically throughout the holiday season and after major storms to ensure that no damage has been done.

Unplug When Unattended

You may like the idea of keeping your home lit up with holiday lights all night long but the smart thing to do would be to unplug them when you are not actively available to respond if something goes wrong. Unplug your lights before leaving the house to go to dinner or to another evening engagement. Also, consider unplugging them before you go to bed for the night. This might create a bit extra work for you on a daily basis but think of the money you'll be saving on your electric bill by not having the lights operating constantly.

This holiday season, practice good electrical safety by being smart about how you install and operate your holiday lights. Inspect the lights for frayed cords before installation and be careful with any extension cords. Finally, it may be a good idea to get your home inspected by a licensed electrician to work out any potential problem spots ahead of the holiday season. If you're interested in learning more, check out websites like