Preparing for Holiday Decorating!
Fall is right around the corner and that means yard maintenance will be in full swing. A number of yard equipment tools require an electrical plug-in that is easily accessible. And let’s not forget that the holidays are sneaking up too! Do you hang lights and decorations for Halloween and Christmas? Nothing is more frustrating than spending all that time hanging lights, only to notice the bright orange extension cords laying all over the ground. You’ve spent all that time hanging up decorations, and now must worry about hiding multiple extension cords. Don’t ruin your beautiful decorative holiday lights with obnoxious extension cords and long wires. Outdoor receptacles or GFCI’s are a quick and efficient fix to those unnecessary eyesores. Now is the time to start thinking about if your home is in need of exterior outlets, or if you do have them, are they up to current building code guidelines?
What are GFCI’s?
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) are outlets used in areas that are at risk of being exposed to water. A GFCI is integrated in the outlet itself, so it monitors the amount of power going to a specific device, such as a hair dryer. If you accidently drop the device into water, the GFCI will detect a source to ground and cut the power. How do you know if your outlet is a GFCI? You know if you are looking at a GFCI if you see a “test” or “reset” button. It’s always a good idea to test these outlets every month to make sure they are working properly.
GFCI’s are the perfect solution for eliminating distracting cords and will save you the time of having to locate your old dingy extension cords. They can be added on the side of your home, shed, pool house, etc. No problem! However, there are certain regulations on how outlets should be installed, so be sure to call a qualified electrician before completing any work yourself. Lose the unnecessary extension cords and save yourself the time and headache of hooking up multiple wires all over your yard.
Not only are ground fault circuit interrupters more convenient for your festive decorations and outdoor activities, but they are, ultimately, safer. Today, GFCI’s are required in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, exteriors and garages for safety purposes. These outlets react faster than circuit breakers or fuses, can prevent serious electric shock and reduce risk of electrical fires/prevent damage to appliances.
When using an extension cord is unpreventable be sure to use the appropriate cords. If you are hanging outdoor lights, you will need to use an outdoor-rated extension cord. We recommend checking the manufacturer's guide to make sure that you are following guidelines. Obviously, putting too many strings of lights on an extension cord is never a good idea and can be a fire hazard. Be safe and knowledgeable this coming holiday season when decorating your home. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s guide or call a licensed electrician!
If interested in getting some additional outlets installed in or outside of your home, please call Ryan Electrical Solutions. Our estimators can visit with you and provide a free quote. With more than 23 years of experience, Ryan Electrical Solutions provides top notch services. Residential and business owners in Springfield, Jacksonville, Sherman, Williamsville, Pleasant Plains, Taylorville, Chatham, Rochester, New Berlin, Lincoln and all areas in between have trusted us for more than two decades! Haven’t used our services yet? Be sure to check out our online reviews through Google, Yelp, and Facebook.