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Avoid a Holiday Decorating Disaster


Few traditions are as unique to the holidays as festooning our homes and yards with twinkling lights and festive decorations. While these displays add to the magic of the season, they also increase our risks for holiday fires and injuries. So follow these steps to ensure that your traditions result in a safe, bright, and happy time for your family.


Carefully inspect each electri- cal decoration and extension cord before use, and discard any dam- aged items. Cracked sockets, bare or frayed wires, and loose connec- tions may cause a serious shock or fire. Avoid overloading outlets, which can overheat and also cause a fire.


The Electrical Safety Foun- dation International recommends never connecting more than three strands of incandescent lights together. Do not pinch cords in windows or doors, or under heavy furniture.


When decorating outside, make sure outdoor outlets are equipped with ground fault circuit interrupt- ers (GFCIs). Check that all items and extension cords are marked for outdoor use. And exercise extreme caution when decorating near over- head power lines. Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead of metal. Keep yourself and all of your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.


Take special care with Christ- mas trees. If purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. Heated rooms dry out live trees – even fresh ones – rapidly. Place the tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces and space heat- ers. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water. For artificial trees, look for the label “fire resistant.”


Hidden Account Number If you see your account


number in this newsletter, call our office, identify yourself and the number. We will credit your elec- tric bill $25. The number may be located anywhere in the newslet- ter and is chosen at random. If you don’t know your account


number, call our office or look on your bill. To get the credit, you must call before the next month’s newsletter is mailed.


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