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Nearly every household uses extra electricity during the holidays—for cooking, decorating and heating.
Take extra care to use electricity safely and to ask family members and houseguests to do the same. Some tips:
Stay in the kitchen when broiling or doing any stovetop cooking.
Keep children well away from cooking appliances while in use.
Keep towels, potholders and curtains away from hot surfaces.
One of the riskiest holiday behaviors is overloading your electrical outlets. You will overload your wall outlets if you string strand after strand of holiday lights together and plug them into an extension cord that you plug into an outlet.
Plugging multiple strands of cords into a power strip does not add any juice to the electrical circuit that powers the outlet you plug the strip into.
Check decorative lights for damaged cords, plugs and sockets. Replace anything that’s frayed, cracked or broken. Buy cords that are certified by UL; look for the UL symbol on the package.
Don’t run extension cords under rugs, carpets or baseboards, or anywhere they can be a tripping hazard.
Only use decorations and cords outdoors that are properly rated for outdoor use.
When you put up outdoor decorations, do not string lights in trees near power lines.
Fasten outdoor lights carefully and securely with clips, never nails or tacks.
Keep electric lights away from decorative metal trees.
Keep all light strings and other decorations away from pets so they don’t get tangled in them or chew the wires.
Keep all decorations—and everything else—at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters.
Always turn off your decorations when you leave home and when you’re sleeping.
Make sure smoke detectors are present and working properly.
Use space heaters properly and safely. Keep them out of high-traffic areas and at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
Do not leave a space heater running unattended. Turn off space heaters and unplug them when you leave the room or go to sleep.
Never leave an open flame, including your fireplace or a candle, unattended.