December 4, 2000

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Dec. 4, 2000-Southern California Edison encourages its customers to help keep the holidays safe and bright by following these basic electrical safety tips:

  • When installing holiday lighting, avoid overloading a single wall outlet or extension cord, which could cause an electric circuit to fail resulting in a fire.
  • Make sure all holiday lights are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed.  The UL certification is recognized worldwide as a standard for product safety and quality.
  • Check all light strands for broken sockets, frayed cords and loose connections.  If these conditions are found, replace the strands with new ones.
  • Connect no more than three sets of holiday lights to a single extension cord.
  • Do not change bulbs or fuses while light sets are plugged in.
  • Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes, and other combustible materials.
  • To prevent an organic holiday tree from becoming a fire hazard, check the water level daily.  A newly cut tree can absorb a gallon or more of water per day.
  • When hanging outdoor lights, make sure tacks are not hammered through the electric cords.
  • Only lights designed for outdoor use should be used outside the home.
  • Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from standing water.
  • For added safety, make sure holiday lights are unplugged before you go to bed or leave home.

In addition, SCE offers consumers the following safety tips when using portable generators:

  • Install and use equipment according to electrical codes and manufacturers' instructions.
  • Always operate generators in well-ventilated areas.
  • When plugging appliances directly into a temporary portable generator, carefully follow instructions.
  • Never attempt to connect a generator to house wiring or to a utility line.

State law requires that you notify SCE if you have a portable generator that can be connected to your electrical wiring.  To do so, call (800) 655-4555 and ask for an Electric Generator Notification Card.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.