News Releases

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips from Sierra Pacific

Dec 5, 2004

Media Contacts:
Karl Walquist: (775) 834-3891
or Faye Andersen: (775) 834-4822

Lights are a special part of the holiday season, but they can be hazardous if you don't take the right precautions, according to electrical safety experts at Sierra Pacific Power. Following are some simple safety rules from the utility's safety department that can help make this a safe and enjoyable holiday.

  • Check for cracking, splitting and frayed cords. Dispose of any lights you find in this condition.
  • Make sure extension cords are properly sized for the total number of lights you are using, and discard damaged cords.
  • Evergreen trees can quickly dry out. If you plan on putting lights on your tree, check the needles frequently for dryness, and be sure that light strings are in good working order.
  • Garland, tinsel or other possibly flammable materials should not be woven into electric lights because the materials could burn or melt.
  • Electric lights and cords should never be left on the floor or hanging within reach of small children or pets.
  • Never run electrical cords underneath carpeting or furniture. They could overheat.
  • Excessive wear on an electrical cord or string of lights can also damage the outer protective covering, leading to a potential shock.
  • Outdoors, use only electric lights, cords and electrical power strips that are approved for outdoor use and can withstand the elements.
  • When installing lights, never use a staple gun, nails or other sharp objects that could damage the outer coating on the wire.
  • Unplug outdoor lights when you are not home.
  • Remember to never overload electric sockets or power strips in your home or business. A circuit breaker tripping off unexpectedly could be a sign of too many lights or appliances on one circuit, or a cord that is bad or is inadvertently being grounded on the circuit.
  • The holiday season is also a good time to check your smoke detectors to make sure they are operational and have fresh batteries.