NYSEG and RG&E Offer Holiday Safety and Efficiency Tips

Companies urge customers to check CO detectors to ensure working order  

BINGHAMTON, NY — December 7, 2021 — New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) wish customers a happy holiday season and offer tips to ensure their celebrations are filled with safety, comfort and joy.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International and other industry groups, fires and injury-causing incidents increase during the holiday season as people decorate their homes, light their hearths and assemble feasts for family and friends. The companies also want to remind customers about winter energy efficiency tips for the holiday season into the new year.

The companies offer customers the following tips:

Decking the Halls

  • Dry tree limbs and electric lighting can be a dangerous combination. Keep your live tree fresh and cut its base at a 45-degree angle before you put it in its base, so it can absorb more water. Water it daily and remove it promptly after the holiday, or when it becomes dry.
  • Consider LED decorative lights, which produce less heat and use less energy than traditional lights. The cooler-burning LEDs can reduce the drying effect on the tree. You can find LED lights and other energy efficient appliances at nysegsmartsolutions.com or rgesmartsolutions.com.
  • Carefully inspect cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items. Look for the UL label on the packaging, showing that they’ve been factory tested.
  • Push wires toward the center of the tree, out of reach of children and pets and clip them securely to the branches.
  • Keep flammable decorations away from the tree's lights. Also make sure that electric window candles do not touch drapes or other flammable objects.
  • Run cords away from high-traffic areas to prevent tripping hazards. Never run cords under rugs since they can overheat.
  • Never use electric lights on metallic trees. Avoid using plastic trees that are not flame-resistant.
  • Turn off decorative lights before going to sleep and when you leave home. Consider using a programmable timer to control displays.
  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits or extension cords. Follow the instructions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings and extension cords. If a cord feels hot to the touch, it is overloaded and can cause an electrical fire.

Around the House

  • Plan escape routes for your family in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • In the kitchen, keep close watch on your stovetop, grill and oven while in use. Never use them for heating.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in every bedroom. Install a carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area. Test monthly and replace batteries twice a year when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
  • If you use natural gas, learn the signs of a leak and what to do. Call NYSEG at 800.572.1121 or RG&E at 800.743.1702 to report gas leaks, odors or emergencies. If you suspect a leak, get up and get out, leave the building and call from a safe place. If there’s an immediate danger, call 911.

Outdoors

  • Before decorating outside your home, look up and around the area to identify overhead lines and other hazards. Keep yourself, ladders and tools far away from overhead lines, as well as anything that might be in contact with them.
  • Use only outdoor-approved lights that can withstand cold temperatures and inspect them for damage.
  • Avoid piling leaves, snow or yard debris against utility meters or furnace vents, to ensure they operate properly and can be easily accessed.

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About NYSEG: New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1852, NYSEG operates approximately 35,000 miles of electric distribution lines and 4,500 miles of electric transmission lines across more than 40% of upstate New York. It also operates more than 8,150 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines and 20 miles of gas transmission pipelines. It serves approximately 894,000 electricity customers and 266,000 natural gas customers. For more information, visit nyseg.com.

About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $36 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 and 2020 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit avangrid.com.


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