NYSEG and RG&E Offer Safety and Energy-Saving Tips for Your Holiday Lighting Displays
– NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, urge customers to be safe and use energy wisely this holiday season.
“Regardless of the magnitude of holiday decorations, we encourage our customers to put safety first,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “In particular, please ensure that all electrical components are approved by Underwriters Laboratories or another recognized testing organization and are in good condition. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.”
NYSEG and RG&E offer these tips:
• Use only those lights and extension cords approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) or another recognized testing organization.
• Carefully inspect light cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items.
• Don’t overload electrical circuits. Follow the directions on cord labels regarding connecting strings of lights and extension cords.
• Make sure the cords are out of the way so that nobody trips over them. Keep wires away from toddlers.
• Extension cords and lights used outdoors should be rated for outdoor use. Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on outdoor outlets.
• Look Up … Look Out! While decorating outside, never raise ladders, poles or other extended objects into or near power lines. If you are decorating an outside tree, check to make sure that its limbs aren’t near power lines or service wires. Remember that no power line is safe to touch, ever.
• If you use candles, keep them within your sight and away from children, pets and anything that could catch fire.
• Push wires toward the center of the tree, and clip them securely to the branches.
• Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
• Avoid using plastic trees unless they’re flame resistant.
• Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
• If you have a real tree, keep it fresh. Before you put the tree in its stand, cut its base at a 45-degree angle so it can absorb water. (The average tree can consume between a quart and a gallon of water a day.) Decorate the tree with miniature lights – they produce much less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree. Remove the tree promptly after the holidays or when it becomes dry.
• Purchase new, energy-efficient lights. Miniature bulbs use less energy than larger bulbs.
• Use light emitting diodes (LEDs), small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LEDs are exceptionally energy efficient when producing individual colors, many using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs (two 24-foot strings).
• Use a programmable timer to turn lighting displays on and off; unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed.
• Turn decorations on only after dark.
• Don’t throw away your old strings of lights. They may be recyclable. Check with your municipality or recycling collector.