Remembering Electrical Safety Makes for Happier Holidays

December 03, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — The gift that truly keeps on giving is the gift of safety. There is no substitute for everyone in your family being safe over the holidays, especially when it comes to using electricity.

Nationally, about 14,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year from accidents related to holiday décor, according to the U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission. The National Fire Protection Association says about 150 house fires per year are caused by faulty holiday lights.

Pacific Power offers several suggestions to help ensure a safe holiday season and avoid being part of those statistics:

  • Never use indoor lights outdoors.
  • Take care when climbing ladders to hang or remove outdoor lights and other decorations. Watch out for overhead power lines – stay more than 10 feet away from lines.
  • Inspect electrical cords and plugs each year for damage. Don’t use a cord if there is any question about its condition.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or outlets with too many plugs. If cords become hot to the touch when in use, it’s likely a sign of an overload or other problem.
  • Use only safety-tested lights and extension cords that carry the “UL” label.
  • Never put extension cords under rugs, and keep them away from water, heat sources or metal pipes.
  • Never modify three-pronged plugs to fit two-pronged sockets.
  • Always turn off holiday lights when going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep multi-purpose, or ABC, fire extinguishers in the home in case of electrical fire.
  • Children should be reminded of the basic rules of electrical safety. Keep electrically powered games, toys and appliances away from water, and keep little hands away from wires, cords and outlets. Adults should help children heed the safety precautions included with games, toys and other electronic items.

Pacific Power wishes everyone a happy holiday season and encourages everyone to keep electrical safety in mind during the holidays and throughout the year, and to remember the most basic rule of all – use your common sense.

For additional electrical safety information and diagrams, visit our safety webpage or call toll free at 1-800-375-7085.

About Pacific Power
Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, providing more than 1.7 million customers with reliable, efficient energy. The company works to meet its customers’ growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing the environment. Pacific Power serves approximately 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California.