Entergy Arkansas Stresses Holiday Safety

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Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- For many, this is the time of year when families gather to make their homes more festive.  Follow these important safety tips as you light up the season. Keep Your Distance "If you’re putting up outdoor lights, stay away from overhead power lines and the line that brings service to your home," said Oscar Washington, Entergy Arkansas, Inc.’s director of customer service.  "Use a fiberglass or wooden ladder that doesn’t conduct electricity, and never, ever replace bulbs when the electricity is on," added Washington. When outdoors, also make sure that the lights used are designated for outdoor use and keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes. For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords. Complete Your Inspection Always inspect your lights before you use them. If the cords are worn or frayed, throw them away. Make sure the lights have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory. "Always make sure all of the light sockets have bulbs in them," said Washington. "Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets." "For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights," he added. "LED bulbs use up to 90 percent less energy than a traditional bulb to produce the same amount of light." Whichever type of lights you choose, be especially careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house. Watch the Tree One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association, which notes that while Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance to be deadly. This NFPA demonstration shows how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be as opposed to a tree watered regularly. "A heat source close to the tree causes one in every five of the fires," said Washington. "Other causes are candles, electrical malfunctions and decorative lights." When decorating with live trees, keep your family safe by following these tips: - If using a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green, with needles that are hard to pull from the branches. - Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily. - Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations. - Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified. "Finally, whether your holiday lighting is indoors or out, or both, always turn holiday lights off when away from home or asleep," said Washington. "You’ll save money and help ensure a safe and happy holiday season." Click here for more holiday lighting safety tips. Entergy Arkansas, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy Corporation’s utilities own and operate power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. The Entergy utilities deliver electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy Corporation has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.

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