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Electrical safety tips for the holidays

December 3, 2010

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - “The year’s largest and most festive holiday season is upon us. In addition to the cheer, sharing and family togetherness, safety should be considered when decorating the house,” says John Flowers, AEP Texas safety manager. “Electrical safety is especially important during the holiday season due to decorative lights draped through trees and around homes.”

AEP Texas recommends the following safety tips for decorating your home:

• Use only holiday lights that are safety-certified by a recognized testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Check your tree lights and outdoor lights for damage each year before you use them. Look for frayed wires, loose connections and broken or cracked sockets. Throw away any set that is damaged.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using tree lights. All lights should be fastened securely with string, ribbon or rubber bands, but never with conductive wire. Bulbs should not come into direct contact with needles or branches on natural trees. Though they don’t emit much heat, it could eventually be enough to dry out the tree limbs

• Never attach electric lights to metal trees. A malfunction could lead to a dangerous, perhaps fatal, shock to anyone touching any part of the tree, Instead, use colored flood lights to give a safer and more beautiful illumination.

• Select lights appropriately and never use indoor lights outside because they are not designed to be waterproof and could short circuit. Outdoor lights, on the other hand, are usually hotter than indoor and could pose a hazard if placed on a tree.

• Although holiday lights themselves don’t typically consume a great deal of power, it is important not to overload wall outlets or extension cords. Never run electrical cords under carpets or rugs where daily walking and wear could cause fraying and overheating. Unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment before restoring power if fuses blow or if circuits trip in the home.

• When you leave the house or go to bed, be sure all lights are turned off. Disconnect lights by pulling the plug, not by yanking on the cord.

“A few moments exercising caution with electrical equipment can help avoid accidents, which would certainly dampen the joy of the holiday season,” adds Flowers.

For more information on Christmas lighting and energy savings, go to the Save Money and Energy page at AEPTexas.com.

AEP Texas, a unit of American Electric Power, delivers electricity to more than 900,000 homes, businesses and industries in south and west Texas. AEP Texas provides regulated energy delivery service to consumers, regardless of which Retail Electric Provider they choose. The region headquarters is in Corpus Christi.

Jessica Davila-Burnett
(361) 850-3514 (Mobile)


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