Georgia Power announces holiday lighting and safety tips

ATLANTA – The holiday season is here and now is the time to show your spirit with holiday lighting and decorations. Georgia Power encourages its customers to practice safety around electricity. Please follow these holiday lighting and safety tips to make sure your season is happy and safe.

Always read and follow the instructions on lights and decorations packaging.

Do not overload circuits or light strands. Plugging too many lights into one outlet or connecting several light strands can overload the circuit and may cause a fire.

Use only lights and decorations that carry Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) approval.

Use lights in their proper place; if lights are not designated for outdoor use, do not put them there.

Make sure that all outdoor circuits have “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter” (GFCI) outlets or breakers. These could help prevent shock or electrocution in damp or wet conditions.

Do not string lights in damp or wet conditions.

Do not leave lights on the ground in areas that are prone to flooding.

Do not use frayed or damaged cords.

Do not run cords under rugs, carpet or place near curtains.

Put timers on outdoor lights.

Always unplug holiday lights when changing out bulbs or fuses.

Do not leave lights on – especially on natural indoor Christmas trees – when no one is home.

Keep small children and pets away from Christmas trees.

If possible, tie off the tree to stabilize it.

Water natural trees daily. Make sure the water in the tree stand is above the fresh cut line of the tree trunk. This should keep the tree from sealing itself off.

When you bring a natural tree home, make a cut about a quarter of an inch to an inch on the tree trunk. Use warm water when watering trees in the tree stand. Warm water helps the tree absorb water better and stay moist. To help keep the tree fresh, add about 4 to 5 aspirin tablets to each gallon of water.

Do not place natural trees over, under or near a heating vent or fireplace. Doing so could cause the tree to dry out and possibly catch fire. If possible, close the heating vent nearest the tree.

When hanging lights, make sure the ladder you use is at the proper angle. Stabilize the ladder. There should be at least three ladder rungs above your step.

Extension cords should be fully unwound. Coiled cords can heat up and cause a fire. Check your extension cord’s ratings and select the proper cord to match the job you’re doing.

Never leave burning candles or fireplaces unattended.

Get fireplaces inspected at least once a year. Before lighting a fire, check to the top of the chimney to make sure leaves and tree limbs are not near the chimney opening. If you have a spark arrestor, make sure it’s in good condition.

Let ash cool completely, before throwing out.

Always make sure your home’s smoke detectors are working properly and you have fire extinguishers nearby.

For more information on electric safety, visit our web site at