Mays Landing, N.J. – Holiday lights can lift the spirits for the entire neighborhood, but according to the United States Fire Administration, every year fires during the holiday season injure 2,600 people and cause more than $930 million in damage across the country. There are some simple steps to take to greatly reduce your chances of becoming a statistic.
While untangling the strings of lights that were put away last year, customers should inspect them carefully. Look for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets or any other signs of excessive wear before deciding whether they’re good to use for another season. Customers should make sure to use only lights and extension cords that are approved for outdoor use and are laboratory tested.
For many of our customers, when it comes to outdoor holiday decorating, the more the better, remember never to string more than three light sets together unless you use heavy-duty light sets. Also think about using mini lights or as they don't build up as much heat as larger bulbs. Customers may also want to consider replacing traditional holiday lighting with LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights, which stay cool to the touch no matter how long they are left on. Also they are far more energy efficient and long lasting than conventional lighting.
“It may be necessary to use a ladder or extension pole to reach to the top of the porch or the top of the wall, but before you set up the ladder or extend the pole, look around to make sure you’re not near any overhead wires,” warns Atlantic City Electric Region President Ken Parker.
And, while many people like to have the lights plugged in when they’re being put up, that could be dangerous if you use an aluminum ladder. To be on the safe side, keep those lights unplugged until you have everything in place.
Atlantic City Electric wants to remind all that to maintain the holiday spirit, make sure you decorate safely. We are asking customers to be mindful of safety practices when working with or around electricity. The current issue of “Energy News You Can Use,” arriving with your December bill, offers additional holiday safety tips.
Additional information on being safe around electricity can be found online at www.atlanticcityelectric.com. For story ideas on safety around electricity, contact Atlantic City Electric media relations at 609-625-5567.
Editor’s Note: Refer to Atlantic City Electric’s website (www.atlanticcityelectric.com) for more information on electrical safety, energy saving tips, bill payment options and power outage updates.
Atlantic City Electric a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 500,000 customers in southern New Jersey