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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Offers Holiday Lighting Safety Tips Utility Wishes Everyone a Safe and Warm Holiday Season

Release Date: November 30, 2007
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO—As people begin to decorate their homes and trees for holiday festivities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company reminds customers to keep a vigilant eye on safety. Every season people are injured while hanging holiday lights or in fires caused by lights or candles. To help prevent these types of accidents from happening, PG&E offers the following safety tips:

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

  • Look up and live! Before stringing outdoor lights, check for overhead power lines. Don't place yourself or any object in a position where you or it may come in contact with a power line—the result can be fatal. Look up before raising ladders or other objects. Keep at least 10 feet away from overhead lines.
  • Make sure lights used to decorate the outside of the house are approved for outdoor use. Never use indoor lights outdoors.
  • Before stringing lights on outdoor trees, make sure tree limbs haven't grown into or near power lines. Branches, an entire tree, and even the ground adjacent to a tree can become energized when trees contact power lines.
  • Check all light strands for cracked or broken plugs, frayed insulation, or bare wires. Worn cords can cause fires. Discard damaged sets of lights.
  • Route cords inside your home so they won't trip anyone. Don't place them under rugs, furniture, or other appliances. If covered, cords can overheat or become frayed and can cause a fire.
  • Follow the manufacturer's limits for the number of light strings that can safely be connected together.
  • Always turn off tree and decorative lights—indoors and outdoors—when leaving the house and before going to bed.
  • Do not place your tree near a heat source such as a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, making it more susceptible to fires caused by heat, flame or sparks.
  • Install LED holiday lights. LED lights are shatterproof and shock resistant. Because LEDs produce almost no heat, they are safe to touch and greatly reduce the risk of fire. LED lights are also more energy efficient and can last up to 20 holiday seasons.

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For more information on safety and holiday lights, please visit www.pge.com.

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