Holiday safety reminders

NORTH BALTIMORE, OH - Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative reminds members at home and in the workplace to keep electrical safety in mind when decorating for the holiday season:

  • Before decorating, read and follow the manufacturers' instructions concerning installation and maintenance of all decorative electrical products.
  • Use lights and other electrical decorations certified by a recognized independent testing laboratory such as CSA, UL, or ETL.
  • Outdoors, use lights and other electrical decorations certified for outdoor use.
  • Carefully inspect each decoration before plugging into an outlet. Cracked, frayed, loose or bare wires, as well as loose connections may cause electrical shock or start a fire. Replace damaged items.
  • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing light bulbs or fuses.
  • Do not mount or support light strings that might damage the cord's insulation.
  • Never nail or staple light strings or extension cords.
  • Do not connect more than three light string sets together.
  • Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have no more than 50 bulbs connected together.
  • Do not overload extension cords - they can overheat and start a fire. Keep all outdoor extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play with electrical decorations. Even small light decorations can produce a fatal shock if they are misused.
  • Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable GFCIs can be purchased wherever electrical supplies are sold.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International; CPSC

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, nonprofit electric utility serving 12,700 members in 10 northwest Ohio counties, including Kelleys Island on Lake Erie, all spanning across 1,800 miles of line.  Counties include:  Allen, Erie, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot.  Founded in 1938, it also provides extra services to its members to help them enjoy the benefits of membership in a cooperative, including Prism Propane.  More information is available at