Oncor Urges Texans to Wrap the Holidays in Safety

Nov 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from Oncor

    DALLAS, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- It's that time of year again -- the
 holiday season. As millions of Texans begin to plan for all the cooking,
 decorating and hosting involved, Oncor wants everyone to remember that
 safety should be considered in all holiday activities.
     Residential fires increase across the country during the holidays,
 according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Cooking-related fires are
 the most common, accounting for 41 percent, but using holiday lights and
 plug-in, mechanical decorations can also result in fires, as well as
 electrical shock, if safety rules are not followed.
     Because keeping the holidays safe requires special attention throughout
 the house, Oncor offers electrical safety tips for indoors, outdoors and
 some that apply everywhere.
     Indoor tips:
     -- Never use electric lights on a metal tree and do not use candles on any
     -- Don't overload electric outlets with lights or decorations.
     -- Don't run extension cords under rugs, carpets or furniture where they
        can overheat.
     -- Keep children, pets and flammable materials such as curtains away from
        cooking surfaces.
     -- Be sure Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are installed
        in your kitchen and test them often. Experts estimate that nearly 70
        percent of the 400 accidental electrocutions each year could be
        prevented if every home had GFCIs installed.
     -- Keep space heaters on a level surface and at least three feet from
        bedding, draperies or other flammable materials.
     -- Always turn off appliances including space heaters, heating pads and
        electric blankets when you leave a room.
     Outdoor tips:
     -- Use only lights and extension cords that are specifically rated for
        outdoor use.
     -- Keep dry leaves swept away from outdoor lighting, outlets and power
     -- Be sure outdoor electric outlets are covered to protect them from the
        elements and that they are GFCIs.
     -- When using ladders to hang lights and decorations, always make sure to
        have a spotter with you and always check for low, overhead power lines
        when walking with or standing on ladders.
     Indoor/outdoor tips:
     -- Before using holiday lights and extension cords, check them for
        fraying, cracking or cuts.
     -- Be sure your lights are certified by an independent testing lab such as
        Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), CSA International or ITS.
     -- Never connect more than three strands of lights together and never
        string extension cords together.
     -- If you use spotlights to highlight decorations, keep them
        well-ventilated and away from anything flammable.
     -- Unplug all holiday lights when going to sleep or leaving home.
     -- When replacing a light bulb, be sure the replacement is of equal or
        lesser wattage than that recommended by the manufacturer.
     For more electric safety tips, visit http://www.oncor.com.
     Oncor is an electric distribution and transmission business that
 provides power to more than 3 million homes and businesses and operates
 more than 115,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas.
 Information about Oncor can be obtained by going directly to