The holidays are a time for joy and family. People think of decorations, good times, great food and special visits from those far away. Before you go all out on this year’s holiday display, treat yourself to a few safety tips about how to protect your home and family this holiday season.

Beware great deals on lights. They could be counterfeits. Choose lights certified by a widely recognized independent testing agency like Underwriters Labrotories (UL). These organizations’ findings are used by insurance companies to help people select a wide variety of products that are proven safe for their homes. Labels should always be on the products, not just the packaging. Even the best electrician can’t make counterfeit holiday lights safe — so shop smart.

If you’re doing a massive display or a 20ft tree outside, get lights designed for you project. Don’t string more than three sets of typical indoor lights together. Read the labels carefully to find the lights that can do what you want for your display. Use GFCI outlets for all outdoor lights, and avoid indoor extension cords for outdoor displays. If you’ve experienced any electrical problems at home, you need an electrician to evaluate the condition of your electrical system before overloading it with the extra voltage demand of holiday lights.

Remember, quality lights are designed to last. They will offer replaceable bulbs and will have good insulation over the wire.

If your strand of lights is frayed or has broken sockets, throw it out and get a new strand. It may look like only one little piece is amiss, but lights operate as a unit — and that one piece could cause a failure. Remember it only takes one light that’s out to cause the whole string not to light up. If any part is compromised, it could cause a fire.

Electrical safety is paramount this time of year. Don’t settle for just anyone listed in the phone book under electricians in Little Rock, AR. Get the courteous and professional service that comes from someone you can trust. Call Gary Houston Electric Company at (501) 375-8330 or contact us online. For the holidays and everyday, the safety of your family is our priority.