Here comes Halloween… and, in keeping with the tradition of this fun American holiday, here comes a spooky story.
But it’s no laughing matter.
Because it’s a true story.
It’s a scary tale about what can happen – what does happen too often in the United States – when homeowners neglect the warnings about holiday decorating, and about how dangerous it can be to overload a home’s electrical system with lavish lighting displays.
(Children, the elderly, and those with heart conditions should leave the room at this time. Or, at least, stop reading.)
A Horrible Jolt… And A Flaming Disaster
Melvin and his wife, Greta, wanted to make their house the envy of the neighborhood during the holiday season.
They wanted a beautiful lighting display… one that would make the neighbors envious… one that would be photographed, posted on social media, and cause people to drive from across town to “ooh” and “aah” at their clever and delightful decorations.
They wanted a holiday home Santa couldn’t miss.
Visible from space.
So Melvin and Greta visited their local decorating store, and they bought some wonderful, “nostalgic” Christmas lights. Then they bought some more. Then they bought more, and more, and more… until they couldn’t afford even one more string of lights.
Back at home, Melvin grabbed the ladder, and with Greta’s help, he carefully put up the lights around the roofline of the house. Then he put up some more. Then he put up more, and more, and more… until every part of the house and all the trees and shrubs were heavy with colorful bulbs.
Then he ran extension cords… several extension cords… and plugged them all into an inexpensive power strip. Then he plugged the strip into the wall socket in the garage, and waited for dusk.
At dusk, after Greta had gathered the neighbors out front for the great “reveal,” Melvin switched on the power strip.
It was beautiful! The neighbors were envious. Mrs. Williams, the next door neighbor, ran inside to post her photos of the ambitious display on social media, where folks from across town were bound to see them and hop into their cars to drive over and take a look for themselves.
A few hours later, with their home and all their possessions in ashes, Melvin and Greta were at the local hospital: She in the Intensive Care Unit, and He in the waiting room, hoping against hope that his wife’s severe smoke inhalation could be remedied through the miracle of modern medicine.
And praying his thanks that they’d managed to escape with their lives.
What went wrong?
Melvin and Greta had overloaded the electrical system in their older home.
Their lighting display had taxed the garage outlet to the max. The wiring inside the walls – a bit older and insufficient for the added current – had heated to dangerous levels. And their breaker box – also older – had failed to shut down the circuit when it became overloaded.
The resulting house fire cost them dearly!
And it could’ve been much worse.
Wake Up, Melvin! Wake Up!
Greta shook her husband, who’d been moaning in his sleep.
Whew! It was just a bad dream!
‘Twas the night before the big reveal… the Christmas lights were hung on the house with care… but, thankfully, they hadn’t yet been switched on.
So Melvin carefully unplugged the entire display, and immediately called his local, qualified electrician.
The electrician checked the breaker box first – it was older, and it needed to be replaced. The couple was only too happy to agree to the work.
And when the electrical professional suggested Melvin and Greta could still have their proud holiday lighting display – but only after they let him install two extra circuits to their system, to handle the added power load – they were filled with holiday cheer.
The story has a happy ending!
The lights were wonderful… Santa was sure to stop by on Christmas Eve… and people drove from all over town to “ooh” and “aah” at the creative display Melvin and Greta had cleverly (and safely!) provided for all to see and admire.
You have the power to prevent “The Lightmare Before Christmas.” That’s because you can get in touch with your local professional electrician, and get a thorough evaluation of your home’s power system (and its capacity to handle your holiday electrical needs). Go ahead… decorate!… but first, make sure your electrician pays a visit. Better safe than scary!
Good Job! Good Guy. No pressure estimate, will be calling to schedule shortly.
Very friendly and efficient!
Great Job guys Todd n Tyler top notch!!! good guys getting it done!!!