‘Tis the season to decorate safely. The holidays can be a joyous time to spend with family and friends, and people all over New Mexico may be decorating for the holidays. While the glow of the holiday lights can provide an inviting and festive feel to any home or business, PNM encourages everyone to keep the following tips in mind to help stay safe this holiday season:
· Consider purchasing LED lights which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
· Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.
· Use a GFCI outlet for outdoor lights, and of course, ensure the right lights for the environment (outdoor vs indoor).
· Always look up and exercise caution outdoors when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 15 feet from power lines.
· Inspect all electrical decorations for damage before use. Damaged cords may cause a serious shock or can start a fire.
· Avoid overloading outlets and only plug one high-wattage appliance into each outlet.
· Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
· If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep it well-watered.
· Protect electrical cords from damage. Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.
· Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.
“Safety is the top priority at PNM, and incidents of home fires and electrical accidents increase during the winter holiday season, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI),” said Chad Krukowski, director for the PNM Safety Department. “It’s easy to get distracted during the holiday season, and it’s important to always keep a proactive approach to safety.”
For additional safety tips, visit PNM.com/safety.