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Pepco Sends Holiday Message: Make Your Season Safe as Well as Jolly

Washington, D.C.--Pepco is working with the District of Columbia Fire Dept. and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to remind area residents to put safety at the top of their holiday lists. One part of this is a new "Holiday Safety Checklist." (See below.) This effort is just one aspect of Pepco's Emergency Services Partnership Program (ESPP), which the company established to create closer working relationships between the utility and the police, fire and EMS departments across its electric service territory in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland.

 "We wanted a cooperative relationship to help us all do our jobs even better and help our customers live more safely," says Mike Maxwell, Pepco Holdings, Inc.'s Vice President, Emergency Preparedness. "One benefit is the knowledge and experience our ESPP partners bring to our community safety efforts."

"Folks spend a lot of time and money on gifts, lights and decorations," says Richard Flemming, Asst. Fire Chief and D.C. Fire Marshall. But Chief Flemming says he has seen a lot of holiday tragedy during his career. "Last year, we lost a family of four to a space-heater-caused fire just days before Christmas," he says. "The youngest was five years old."

Flemming advises, "spend more on top-quality extension cords and ensuring your home has all the safety equipment you need. This is also a great time for a family emergency drill."

Pepco Emergency Services Partnership Program
Holiday Safety Checklist

DO

DON'T

Trees

Check your tree for freshness and keep it moist. If a tree has brown spots or loses needles when shaken, leave it on the lot. Don't buy it.
Check tree stand reservoir and top it up morning and evening.Don't let your tree dry out.
Make sure it is secure in the stand.Don't leave pets or children alone with the tree.
Keep unsupervised pets away. 

Holiday Wiring

Check all light strings, bulb sockets, extension cords, and other electric decorations. Don't leave lights or other electric decorations on when you leave the house or go to bed.
Discard any worn or damaged items.Don't use extension cords, light cords, or other electric cords if they are worn, nicked or damaged in any way.

Extension Cords

Use UL rated cords only. Don't use cheap cords.
Place cords where they are free of other objects, are not under heavy weights and are not likely to be stepped on or tripped over.

Don't place cords:

  • Under carpets or rugs
  • Under furniture legs
  • Near a heat source
  • In traffic paths where they can be stepped on or tripped over
Use enough cords and electric outlets for the items you are connecting.Don't use the wrong type of cord for the job.
Use the proper weight cord (light, medium, heavy) for the item you are connecting. Don't attach too many plugs to a cord.
Buy quality cords-cheap cords can be faulty and cause a fire.  

Space Heaters

Buy heaters with thermostat control & automatic shutoff. Don't use space heaters with exposed electric coils or open flames.
Oil-filled, electric radiators are safe, effective and economical. Don't place space heaters closer than 3 feet to people, furniture or other flammable materials.
Place at least 3 feet from flammable items and/or furniture. Don't leave heaters on when you are not in the room.
Close room doors to maximize heat.  
Unplug from wall when not in use.  

Fireplaces

Always use a fire screen to keep sparks from landing on rugs, etc. Many home fires start from unguarded fireplace sparks.Don't leave fire unattended.
Always make sure the flue is open.Don't leave the house or retire for the night without making sure fire is completely extinguished.
Have your chimney checked and cleaned if necessary. Many fires start in unswept chimneys. Don't leave children or pets unattended near fire.
 Don't burn gift wrap or other holiday trimmings in fireplace-place them in the trash.

Candles

Use them safely!Don't use candles for main source of light.
 Don't leave candles unattended-especially when pets or children are near.

Stoves

Remember to turn off all cooking equipment when not in use.Don't leave food cooking unattended in oven or on stovetop.

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 725,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2019. All Rights Reserved.