For Immediate Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 8, 2005
Holiday lights can lift the spirits of the entire neighborhood, but every year, fires during the holiday season injure 2,600 people and cause over $930 million dollars in damage across the country according to the U.S. Fire Administration. There are some simple steps to take to greatly reduce your chances of becoming a statistic.
While you're untangling the strings of outdoor lights you put away last year 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 go for another season. And, make sure you use only lights and extension cords that are approved for outdoor use and are laboratory tested.
If you agree that 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. Mini lights are a safe choice for your outdoor holiday display because they don't build up as much heat as larger bulbs.
"When you're hanging your lights, it may be necessary to pull out the 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 Delmarva Power Regional Vice President Glenn Moore.
And, while many folks 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.
Delmarva Power wants to remind everyone 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," which comes with the December bill offers additional holiday safety tips.
Additional information on being safe around electricity can be found online at www.delmarva.com. For story ideas on safety around electricity, please call Delmarva Power media relations at 302-283-5811.
Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric and natural gas delivery services to more than 500,000 customers in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.