’Tis the Season for Safe Celebrations

BEAUMONT, November 23, 2012 - For many, this is the time of year when after unstuffing the turkey it’s time to unstuff the attic by pulling out holiday decorations that signal the start of the next season of celebration.

As you decorate for the holidays, keep safety first and foremost in your plans. Follow these important safety and energy-saving tips as you light up the season.

In the Immortal Words of Aretha Franklin: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

“Respect electricity at all times,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director for Entergy Texas. “If you’re putting up outdoor lights, stay away from overhead power lines and the line that brings service to your home.
“Use a fiberglass or wooden ladder that doesn’t conduct electricity, and never, ever replace bulbs when the electricity is on.”

When outdoors, also make sure that the lights used are designated for outdoor use and keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes. For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.

Socket to me, socket to me, socket to me, socket to me…

Always inspect your lights before you use them. If the cords are worn or frayed, throw them away. Make sure the lights have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.

“Always make sure all of the light sockets have bulbs in them,” Pierce said. “Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.”

“Better yet, for greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights,” he added. “LED bulbs use up to 90 percent less energy than a traditional bulb to produce the same amount of light.”

Whichever type of lights you choose be especially careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.


One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association, which notes that while Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance to be deadly.


This NFPA demonstration shows how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be as opposed to a regularly watered tree.

“A heat source close to the tree causes one in every five of the fires,” Pierce said. “Other causes are candles, electrical malfunctions and decorative lights.”

When decorating with live trees, keep your family safe by following these tips:

· 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.
· 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.
“Finally, whether your holiday lighting is indoors or out, or both, always turn holiday lights off when away from home or asleep,” Pierce said. “You’ll save money and help ensure a safe and happy holiday season.”

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