Learning to harness electricity was probably the greatest man-made accomplishment in our history. It has certainly made the holiday season a brighter one.
As we're setting up our festive lights and decorations for the holidays, remember that there are potential dangers associated with using electric appliances.
Here are a few tips from Southern California Edison that could help keep you and your loved ones from becoming a statistic:
- Do not use decorative lighting with frayed cords and wires, broken fuses or broken light bulbs.
- Do not use staples, nails or tacks to hang electrical cords. These can pierce the protective insulation.
- Plug no more than three strands of lights into each electrical cord or outlet.
- Never use lighted candles on or near holiday trees or decorations.
- Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International also has tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Its website includes safety quizzes and a holiday survival guide. In the 19-page guide are tips on inspecting electronic lights and appliances, proper use of electrical sockets, proper Christmas tree care and cooking safety tips.
According to the ESFI, on annual average, some 8 deaths, 14 injuries and $8.5 million in property damage were caused by Christmas tree fires and about 5,800 people are treated in hospitals after falling while decorating their home.