Entergy: Be Safe, Save Energy When Lighting the Holidays

From Entergy’s recent release on holiday safety:

“Respect electricity,” said R.L. Grubbs, a safety specialist for line crews at Entergy Texas. “We care about your safety – if you’re putting up outdoor lights, stay away from overhead power lines and the line that brings service to your home. Use a fiberglass or wooden ladder that doesn’t conduct electricity. If you have a live tree inside, make sure it stays fresh and green – the needles should be hard to pull off. And always inspect your lights before you use them – if the cords are worn or frayed, throw them away.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the four years between 2003 and 2007, holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an average of 170 home fires per year. During the same period, Christmas trees were to blame for an average of 250 home fires each year.

“Following safety guidelines can make sure you and your family stay safe, and that you get to enjoy this time with those you care about,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director for Entergy Texas. Pierce added that energy-efficient lighting also can save customers money on their electricity costs – which goes a long way this time of year.

Inside lighting:

  • If using a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green, with needles that are hard to pull from the branches.
  • Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.
  • Examine all lights before putting them on the tree or using them in other home decorations. Do not use lights with frayed wiring or loose sockets and make sure they have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.
  • For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights.
  • Make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them. Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.
  • Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations.
  • Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified.
  • Be careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.
  • Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.
  • Place wires where they can not trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.

Outside lighting:

  • Make sure the lights used are designated for outdoor use.
  • Use a nonconducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights. Also, stay clear of all overhead wires.
  • Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.
  • Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.
  • For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.
  • Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.
  • Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.
  • Turn outside holiday lights off when away from home or asleep.

Read the full release here.

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