Happy and Safe Holiday Decorating
December 7, 2011
El Paso Electric urges you to give yourself and your loved
ones the gift of electrical safety this holiday season.
Here are a few electrical safety tips and precautions:
Indoor and Outdoor
Before you begin decorating, read and follow the
manufacturer's instructions concerning installation and
maintenance of all electrical decorations.
Use only the lights and other electrical decorations that
have been certified by a recognized independent testing
laboratory such as UL, ETL or CSA.
Carefully inspect each decoration before plugging into an
outlet. Cracked sockets, frayed, loose or bare wires, and
loose connections may cause a serious electric shock or
start a fire. Replace damaged items with new decorations.
Always unplug a light string or electrical decoration
before replacing light bulbs or fuses.
Don't overload extension cords - it could cause the cord
to overheat and start a fire. Use no more than three
standard-size sets of lights per extension cord.
Don't allow children or pets to play with light strings,
candle lights or other electrical decorations. Even small
light decorations can produce a deadly electric shock if
they are misused.
Turn off all electrical light strings and decorations
before leaving home or going to bed.
Use only lights and other electrical decorations
certified for outdoor use. Plug outdoor electric lights
and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault
circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
When hanging lights around your roofline or in trees, be
sure to survey the area for overhead power lines and
maintain at least a 10-foot distance.
Don't mount or support light strings in any way that
might damage the cord's wire insulation. Never nail or
staple light strings or extension cords down.
Keep all outdoor extension cords and light strings clear
of snow and standing water and well protected from
weather. Keep all electrical connections off the ground
and hang sockets downward to prevent water from seeping
Do not run electrical cords through door or window
openings where they can be damaged.
If you buy an artificial tree, check for a "flame
Unplug the lights when changing bulbs or when adjusting
them on the tree.
Don't let bulbs touch any flammable material.
Never try to bypass a fuse built into a string of lights.
If you need to use extension cords, use only UL-approved
cords that are rated to carry the electrical loads
connected to them. Uncoil extension cords completely
before using. Place extension cords away from heat
sources and bulbs.
Never place cords under rugs and doors or through windows
where they might be pinched or become worn.
Keep cords out of water and away from metal objects.
Be aware that cut Christmas trees or real Christmas trees
cause the most fires during the holiday season. Make sure
the base of the tree is maintained properly with the
proper chemicals and water.