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