AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power Co., a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is urging its customers to follow some simple electrical safety tips so they can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
In addition to testing smoke detectors and planning emergency fire escape routes for your family, people should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- The combination of dried Christmas tree limbs and hot lights can be dangerous, so keep the tree fresh. Before you put the tree in its stand, cut its base at a 45-degree angle so it can absorb water. Water the tree liberally — the average tree can consume between a quart and a gallon of water a day. Remove the tree promptly after the holiday or when it becomes dry.
- Decorate the tree with miniature lights. They produce much less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree.
- Keep flammable decorations away from the tree’s lights. Also make sure that electric window candles do not touch drapes or other flammable objects.
- Don’t overload electrical circuits or extension cords. Follow the directions on cord labels regarding connecting lights strings and extension cords. Make sure the cords are out of the way so that nobody trips over them.
- Carefully inspect light cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items.
- Keep wires away from toddlers. Push wires toward the center of the tree, and clip them securely to the branches.
- Never use electric lights on metallic trees. Avoid using plastic trees unless they’re flame resistant.
- Always turn holiday lights off before going to sleep and when you leave home.
- Only use lights and cords that have been factory tested. Check for the UL label on the packaging.
- For outside, use only outdoor-approved lights that can withstand cold temperatures.
- While decorating the outside of your home, never raise ladders, poles or other extended objects into or near power lines. If you are decorating an outside tree, check to make sure that its limbs aren’t near power lines. Remember that no power line is safe to touch, ever.
- Replace the battery in your smoke detector.