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Winter Décor and Weather Pose Threats this Holiday Season; Stay Safe with Tips from Mister Sparky

HOUSTON – December is one of the deadliest months for electrical fires, and each year, hundreds of home fires are caused by holiday decorations and Christmas trees. It’s critical for home owners to safeguard the home now – and throughout the season – in order to avoid potential disasters.

The Mister Sparky® electric team has the following safety tips to help ensure home owners and house guests stay safe this holiday season.

  • Check holiday decorations for flammability.
    • Water and electricity don’t mix! Be sure all outdoor illuminations like light strings are rated for outdoor use or properly protected. Be sure to never exceed the recommended wattage and plug outdoor electrical equipment into ground-fault protected circuits.
    • Avoid plugging too many lights into one outlet; overloaded circuits can easily start fires.
    • Make sure to turn off the lights when you go to bed and to take your decorations down after the holidays. They can deteriorate over time and cause problems in the future.
    • While most decorations are flameproof, treat all decorations as highly combustible and keep away from holiday candles. Keep your holiday trees watered; dry trees are a fire hazard.
  • Prep your house for winter weather.
    •  If you need to use a space heater to stay warm, consider the safety features of the unit, the size of the area you want to heat and the energy efficiency of the heater. Finding a heater that fits your space is critical to safety.
    • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, or install new ones. Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. It is recommended that one smoke detector be placed on every floor of the home, including basements and attics, as well as in every bedroom of the house.
    • Consider upgrading your outdoor lighting on stairs and walkways, in advance of dark and icy weather, to protect your family and guests during the winter months.
    •  Never leave a space heater on when you’re not home, and unplug the device when you’re not using it. It’s also important to keep combustibles at least three feet from the heat source. This can include holiday decorations and curtains.
  • Call in the experts before the holiday rush.
    • Your local Mister Sparky electricians are available to ensure your house is ready before decorations go up and guests arrive. Professional installation of safe and convenient electrical outlets for your holiday lights will help defend your home from surges.
    • Getting a full home inspection, including GCFI protection for all wet areas in your home, can highlight the problems that will cause a headache during your celebrations.

Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services with over four million customers. Direct Energy gives customers choice, simplicity, and innovation where energy, data, and technology meet. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), an international energy and services company, Direct Energy, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, operate in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and eight provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

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