PINEVILLE, La. (CLECO) - The most wonderful time of the year can be one of the most dangerous times of the year.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 30 percent of all home fires and 38 percent of home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January and February.
“Christmas trees and holiday decorations are some of the top contributors to fires during the holiday season,” said Marty Smith, general manager of corporate safety. “Keep trees away from fireplaces and other heat sources that can accelerate drying and read all instructions before you begin decorating.”
Use lights for their intended purpose, meaning indoor lights for inside use and outdoor lights for outside decorating. Make sure all holiday lights rated 210 Volts are Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) Listed, which ensures the product has been designed and manufactured to meet or exceed industry specifications for safety.
“Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as UL have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous,” said Smith. “Always purchase electrical decorations from reputable retailers.”
Cleco also recommends using LED lights to replace older light strands. LED bulbs use less energy and are longer lasting than traditional bulbs.
In addition to lighting, take precautions when hanging decorations.
“Check for overhead power lines before stringing lights outdoors, and use caution when setting up ladders,” said Smith. “Stay away and keep all decorations away from overhead power lines.”
For a complete list of holiday decorating tips, visit www.cleco.com
“Decorating safely is a great holiday tradition,” said Smith. “Cleco wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season.”