For Immediate Release
Washington -With holiday preparations underway, Pepco reminds customers that a quick check of decorative lighting before installation can provide peace of mind and a safe holiday.
"Pepco wants to remind all of our customers to think about safety when decorating, especially when working with or around electricity," says Pepco Region President Thomas H. Graham.
Graham, citing U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year fires during the holiday season injure 2,600 people and cause more than $930 million in damage across the country, says a few simple steps can greatly reduce the chances of becoming a statistic.
Home decorators should carefully inspect new or used string lighting. Look for cracked or missing insulation, damaged sockets or any other signs of excessive wear before deciding whether the lights are good to use for another season. When putting up an outdoor display, customers should make sure to use only lights and extension cords that are approved for outdoor use and carry the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
No more than three light sets should be strung together unless heavy-duty light sets are used. Mini lights don't build up as much heat as larger bulbs. Customers may also want to consider replacing traditional holiday lighting with LED (light emitting diode) lights, which stay cool to the touch, no matter how long they are left on, and are far more energy efficient and long-lasting than conventional lighting.
"Outdoors, it may be necessary to use a ladder or extension pole to reach to the top of the porch or a wall, but before you set up the ladder or extend the pole, look around to make sure you're not near any overhead wires," warns Graham.
The current issue of "Lines" arriving with the customer's December bill, offers additional holiday safety tips. Additional safety information on being safe around electricity can be found online at www.pepco.com.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 745,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.