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Creating a Winter Wonderland at Home?
BATON ROUGE, La. – Radio stations are playing holiday music and twinkling lights line the main streets in town. For some, part of the celebration of the season involves decorating their house with lights.
Entergy Louisiana has some bright ideas to help put safety first this holiday season with a few simple reminders and precautions.
- Examine all lights before putting them on the tree or using them in other home decorations. Do not use lights with frayed wiring or loose sockets, and make sure they have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.
- For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights.
- Make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them. Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.
- Be careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.
- Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.
- Place wires where they cannot trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.
- If decorating a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green, with needles that are hard to pull from the branches.
- Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.
- Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations.
- Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified.
- Make sure the lights used are designated for outdoor use.
- Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights. Also, stay clear of all overhead wires.
- Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.
- Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.
- For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.
- Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.
- Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.
- Turn outside lights off when away from home or asleep.
Customers should keep in mind that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of four deaths, 15 injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage annually. In nearly 27 percent of the Christmas tree fires and in 80 percent of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43 percent of home Christmas tree fires.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.