Orange & Rockland Brightens the Holidays with Lighting Tips
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that each year over 12,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday lights and trimmings.
O&R offers some helpful advice from the Commission so that you and your family won’t become part of these grim statistics.
- When purchasing decorative lights, make sure they have the approval label of a testing laboratory like Underwriters’ Laboratories. That familiar UL symbol means the lights have been evaluated by a recognized product safety organization; reducing the chances of electric shock or fire.
- Check older light sets to make sure their wires are not frayed or have worn bare spots on them, and replace them if they are damaged.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and injure anyone touching it. Instead, use a colored spotlight above or below the metal tree, never attach to it.
- If you decorate outdoors, make sure to use lights designed for exterior use. Those units are typically more sturdily constructed, and can stand up better to winter wind and weather.
- Don’t overload your household electric outlets with multiple plugs on multiple plugs. Overheated wires could start a fire.
- And, running extension cords under rugs presents a potential safety hazard, and a potential fire hazard.
- To help control electric decorating costs during the holiday lighting season:
- Consider using holiday decorations featuring energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures instead of conventional incandescent bulbs. LED lights will help save on electric bills and help “green” the environment. To learn more about O&R energy efficiency programs, visit us at www.oru.com/save.
- Set timers for lights to automatically turn on when it gets dark and turn off later at night. You can save money by keeping your lights on from dusk to late evening, instead of all night long.
- Look for the Energy Star label on lighting and any electronics or appliances you buy as gifts. These models meet stricter standards and can reduce energy usage up to 40 percent compared to standard models.
- Use power strips. To save energy, shut off power at the strip when the decorations are not in use.