Holiday lighting energy saving and safety tips - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Holiday lighting energy saving and safety tips

Source: MGN Source: MGN
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

It's that time of year again. 

Families are pulling out their holiday decorations and Entergy Mississippi wants you to know important energy savings and safety tips when getting ready to light up the season.

The National Fire Protection Association's records that show that between 2007 and 2011, fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home fires that began with Christmas trees. These fires caused an average of six deaths, 22 injuries and $18.3 million in direct property damage per year.

Energy-efficient lighting also can save customers money on their electricity costs, which goes a long way this time of year. 

Want to save energy but still want to string up all those Christmas lights? Use LED bulbs. These are a popular choice for holiday decorating and they use up to 90 percent less energy than an incandescent or traditional bulb to produce the same amount of light. 

Here are Entergy's safety tips:

Inside lighting:

· If using a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green, with needles that are hard to pull from the branches.

· Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.

· Examine all lights before putting them on the tree or using them in other home decorations. Do not use lights with frayed wiring or loose sockets, and make sure they have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.

· For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights.

· Make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them. Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.

· Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations.

· Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified.

· Be careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.

· Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.

· Place wires where they cannot trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.

Outside lighting:

· Make sure the lights used are designated for outdoor use.

· Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights. Also, stay clear of all overhead wires.

· Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.

· Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.

· For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.

· Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.

· Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.

· Turn outside holiday lights off when away from home or asleep.

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