November 21, 2022 – SWEPCO wants to remind the public about important electrical safety tips when decorating homes and offices this holiday season.
1. Stay 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Before putting up lights or other outdoor decorations, look up and stay clear of overhead power lines. Keep ladders, lights, tools and yourself at least 10 feet away from power lines.
2. Inspect lights for damage before you use them. Discard your tree lights and outdoor lights with frayed wires, loose connections and broken or cracked sockets. Use only lights and extension cords that are safety-certified by a recognized testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
3. Use proper indoor/outdoor decorations. Select extension cords, lights and other decorations marked appropriately for indoor or outdoor use.
4. Don’t overload outlets or extension cords. Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Connect lights to power strips that have several outlets and a built-in circuit breaker.
5. Don’t cover electrical cords. Never run electrical cords under carpets or rugs where daily walking and wear could cause fraying and overheating.
6. Use only GFCI outlets outside. Outdoor electrical lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
7. Keep lights off the ground. Secure outdoor lights off the ground to keep plugs away from puddles and snow.
8. Turn off lights when you leave the house or go to bed. An automatic timer can also help ensure your holiday lights are off when you’re asleep or not home. Keeping lights on for shorter periods of time can also help prevent overheating.
For more safety tips, visit SWEPCO.com/Safety.