Please don't let an electrical accident spoil your holiday fun. Florida Power & Light Company offers a few easy decorating rules to add safety to the spirit of the season:
* Make sure the lights you use outside are approved for outdoor use. Look for a tag on the cord, or insignia on the box, indicating that a testing agency has endorsed the lights for safety. Never use indoor lights outside.
* When decorating outdoors, always look up first. Don't raise ladders or other extended objects into power lines. Don't place yourself or an object you're using in a position where you might contact a power line.
* If you're stringing lights in outdoor trees, make sure tree limbs haven't grown into or near power lines. Branches or entire trees can become energized if they contact a power line.
* Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Use colored spotlights, but don't let them contact the tree.
* Check lights for cracked or broken sockets, frayed insulation or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged cords. The few dollars you would save repairing an old light string isn't worth the chance of an accident.
* Route cords so they won't trip anyone. Don't place them under rugs, appliances or other objects. Cords can overheat, if covered, or become worn and cause a fire.
* Use no more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord, to prevent overheating.
* Keep your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, TV sets and other heat sources. These can dry your tree prematurely and lead to fires.
* Place your tree in a stand that holds at least one gallon of water to prevent the tree from drying. Trees absorb two pints to a gallon of water a day, so check the stand daily. A fresh cut of at least one-quarter inch off the trunk base will help the tree take up water.
* Always turn off tree and decorative lights when you leave home or go to bed.
* Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.fpl.com/, including a new electricity safety site for kids at http://www.fplsafetyworld.com/.
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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light Company