FORT WAYNE, Ind., Nov. 30 – With the holiday’s here, it’s time to gorge on food and decorate the house. Rushing into decorating to keep up with Clark Griswold, however, can make things hazardous for both you and your wallet. Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) wants to provide everyone with energy efficient holiday decoration ideas and safety reminders to get into the holiday spirit.
“Indiana Michigan Power is dedicated to making your holidays bright, efficient and safe whether it’s small display in the yard or going full ‘Christmas Vacation’. It’s always important to review safety procedures when decorating is part of your holiday tradition.” said Amy King, safety and health coordinator for I&M. “We hope all of our 500,000 plus customers have a safe and happy holiday season while staying safe and being energy efficient.”
Here are a few tips on how customers can decorate for the holidays while staying safe and conserving energy.
Keep Safe This Holiday Season
Having a happy holiday season with your friends, family and loved ones means having a safe holiday. Before you decorate, follow I&M’s top 10 tips of safety:
- Before installing lights, check each set – new and old – for damaged sockets, loose connections and frayed or bare wires. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
- Never use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord. Also make sure you use outdoor and indoor specific light strands/extension cords accordingly.
- Plug exterior lights into ground-fault interruptible (GFI) outlets only. If the home lacks outside GFI outlets, call an electrician to install them.
- Don’t run electrical cords through door or window openings where they can be damaged.
- Before climbing a ladder, inspect it to ensure it's in good working condition, and follow the weight limits specified on the ladder and manufacturer instructions.
- Never use a ladder on or near power lines or poles.
- Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly to avoid anyone from tripping over cords.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
- Don’t connect lights while adjusting them on the tree. Unplug lights when changing bulbs.
- Don’t let bulbs touch flammable material, including needles, branches and other decorations.
For more safety tips visit: www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/safety.
Save Money while Showing off the Holiday Spirit
We know that decorating is a great part of the holidays. Lights hung on trees or roofs are a great way to make your home or business shine during the holiday season, but there are ways to make the holiday’s glow and not your energy bill.
- Purchase LED lights and strand lights to decorate and save energy. ENERGY STAR® qualified LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional bulbs – which means the cost to light a typical tree with LEDs is about $1 per season. LED lights generate less heat, are cool to the touch and can last up to 10 years. They’re brighter, eco-friendly and safer, since they are much cooler than incandescent lights. LED flameless candles are also a safe and energy efficient alternatives to real candles.
- Use path lights that come in festive designs and welcome people into your home or business. Line your walkway with LED lights to save money and keep everyone safe as they enter your home or business.
- Use smart power strips to corral extra cords. These strips can sense when a device is turned off or not being used and will shut off the power automatically. Be sure to visit Electricideas.com to compare energy efficiency ratings to save money on smart power strips.
- Consider using automatic timers. These will turn lights off when you leave your home or office.
- Consider decorating without using electricity. Place ornaments in a glass jar for table decorations, add tinsel and bows for a touch of sparkle, or place figurines on office surfaces such as desks, shelves and countertops.
- Use greenery for garland, indoor or outdoor wreaths and floral arrangements. Real or faux, greenery doesn’t use energy. Add LED lights and festive ribbon for an extra touch.
For more than 100 energy efficiency tips, rebates and energy efficient efforts visit: www.electricideas.com.
Corporate Communications Rep