SWEPCO offers 7 electrical tips to stay safe this holiday season

Safety Matters

In this March 19, 2020, photo, car tail lights streak under Christmas lights recently turned back on in Farmington, N.H. As the coronavirus spreads, holiday lights are going back up to provide a bit of emotional and actual brightness. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southwestern Electric Power Company is encouraging the public to be mindful of their electrical safety during the holidays.

Here are seven tips to keep everyone safe this holiday season:

  • Before putting up lights or other outdoor decorations, look up and stay clear of overhead power lines. Keep ladders, lights, tools and yourself at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Check your tree lights and outdoor lights for damage each year before you use them. Discard lights with frayed wires, loose connections and broken or cracked sockets. Use only lights and extension cords that are safety-certified by a recognized testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL). 
  • Select extension cords, lights and other decorations marked appropriately for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Avoid overloading wall outlets or extension cords with too many lights and decorations. Connect lights to power strips that have several outlets and a built-in circuit breaker. 
  • Never run electrical cords under carpets or rugs where daily walking and wear could cause fraying and overheating. 
  • Outdoor electrical lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed. 

SWEPCO also recommends using LED strings lights to save energy this season.

“LED string lighting uses about 90 percent less energy than standard incandescent string lights, which means the cost to light a typical tree with LEDs is about $1 per season,” Chelsea Adcock, SWEPCO’s consumer programs marketing coordinator said. “LED holiday lights are a bit more expensive upfront than incandescent, but usually pay for themselves with the first year’s energy savings. LED lights generate much less heat and are cool to the touch, which is also a great safety feature, and can last up to 10 years.”

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