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Delmarva Power Reminds Everyone to Decorate Safely

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SALISBURY , Md. – With holiday preparations under way, Delmarva Power reminds customers that a safety check of decorative lighting before installation can provide peace of mind and a safe holiday.

Holiday decorations lift spirits and beautify communities, but when improperly placed they can become a hazard. Each year, there are approximately 200 fires and 25 injuries resulting from Christmas tree fires during the holiday season, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Most holiday fires can easily be prevented.

Delmarva Power offers the following holiday decorating safety tips:

  • Test your smoke alarms when entertaining guests and share with them your home fire escape plan.
  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including fireplace or heat vent.
  • Never put Christmas tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is to take it to a recycling center or have it collected by a community pick-up service.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wire, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear.
  • Use only lighting certified by nationally recognized laboratories such as UL, CSA or ETL-SEMCO.
  • Do not overload outlets.
  • Avoid using lit candles.
  • Never leave the house with candles burning or holiday lights unattended.

For more holiday safety tips, go to delmarva.com or read the December issue of LINES, the company’s customer newsletter mailed monthly with energy bills.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .