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Electrical safety tips for the holiday season

Electrical safety tips for the holiday season

Although the holiday season will be over before we know it, electrical safety is something to keep in mind this season and all the holiday seasons to follow.

Inspect all decorations before use.
Damaged sockets, exposed wires and bad connections could cause electrical shock or even a fire! After inspection, use caution when plugging in your holiday decorations. Be careful not to overload outlets. If using incandescent lights, do not connect more than three strands as this could potentially blow a fuse, or worse yet, cause a fire.

Keep your tree watered.
A dry tree is a fire hazard. Water your tree daily, and be sure to remove it from your home when it has died or immediately after the holiday is over.

Pick safe votives.
Invest in battery-operated candles which are much safer than normal candles. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), unattended or forgotten candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires.

Protect cords and unplug when not in use.
Be sure to never pinch cords, hide them under furniture, place them near a heat source or secure them with nails or staples. Any of these could cause electric shock or a fire. Unplug all cords when not in use to stay safe while saving electricity!

For more tips on staying safe around electricity, visit lcec.net.

Warm your home without using the heat

There are many ways to stay warm when the temperatures dip in southwest Florida. Yes, you can turn on the heat but remember that heat costs anywhere from two to three times more than cooling. Space heaters are a cost-effective way to stay warm, but can be dangerous (even deadly) if used improperly. Keep the following tips in mind if you use a space heater this winter:

• Read manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using a space heater.
• Only use space heaters with labels showing that they have been approved by a recognized testing laboratory.
• Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn (such as paper). Keep space heaters as far away as possible from kids, pets, and high-traffic areas.
• Only use space heaters for their intended purpose. Never use a space hater for things such as warming bedding or drying clothes.
• Always turn off, unplug and store space heaters when not in use.
• Plug space heaters directly into wall receptacles. Avoid using extension cords.
• Do not use a space heater if the cords are frayed, worn or damaged in any way. Inspect cords before each and every use.

Another cost-effective, energy-efficient way to stay warm is by using electric blankets. Just like space heaters, electric blankets must be used with caution and in accordance with all the instructions listed in the manufacturer’s instructions. For more energy saving tips, visit lcec.net.

To LED or not this holiday season

Do LED holiday lights cost more than incandescent? Yes. Are LED lights a worthwhile investment? Yes. Here are the many reasons you should consider spending a little more to invest in LED lights this holiday season:

• LED lights are more energy efficient than incandescent lights. A whopping 90 percent of the energy produced by incandescent bulbs is released in the form of heat. LEDs use nearly 75 percent less energy than incandescent and last up to 25 times longer!
• LED lights are cool to the touch which makes them a safer option around Christmas trees, wreaths, pets, kids and more!
• LED bulbs don’t burn out. Rather than burning out, LEDs get dimmer over time. In addition to their long lives, these bulbs are plastic and durable which means you don’t have to spend time carefully wrapping them away for next year.
• LED lights come in a variety of styles. They even have LED rope, net and icicle lights!

Although LED lights still cost more than traditional lights, the price tag is extremely reasonable considering all the benefits that LED lights offer. Better yet, tis the season of sales which means you can likely snag some LED lights for a seriously jolly deal. For more energy saving tips, visit lcec.net.

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