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Keep the Holidays Safe

The holiday season is here! All you have to do is take a walk or go for a ride in the evening to see the sights of the season. There is an abundance of festive lights and displays in many yards and windows. Please review the following checklist to make sure that your holiday decorating is done safely:

  • Check all strings of lights and extension cords for cracked insulation or damaged plugs or light sockets.
  • Use only lights and extension cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Carefully read all labels and instructions on lights and decorations. Some items are only intended to be used indoors or outdoors. All outdoor electric equipment should be waterproof.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets and circuits. If using a power strip it should be equipped with a built-in circuit breaker.
  • Always turn off all lights and/or decorations when you go to bed for the evening or when leaving home.
  • Check lights and decorations regularly after you have installed them to make sure that they are in a safe condition. You never know when a pet, child, or inclement weather conditions can change the operating characteristics of the household decorations.
  • A fresh cut tree should be given plenty of water. The tree should not be placed near a heat source such as a fireplace, radiator, electric space heater, or warm air duct. Promptly remove the tree when its needles get brittle or begin to fall.

Also remember that all of those festive lights and decorations will increase the electric bill. Holiday baking and entertaining will contribute to a higher electric bill. It is typical for most customers to have an increase in their electric bill of $7 - $10 from late November to early January. A customer that has the yard and house full of decorations could see an even higher increase.

As an example, a string of 25, C7 outdoor lights will cost a penny an hour to operate. As you start adding those strings together the cost can quickly increase. And those 90 ane 120 watt floodlights to illuminate Santa or the nativity set will also add up over time.

By taking all of the proper precautions, your family can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.