Page 14 - Norris Electric News October 2019
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 14 HALLOWEEN SAFETY
   Keep Electrical Spooks from Haunting Your Halloween
More and more people decorate their yards for Halloween with elaborate lighting displays with as much enthusiasm and as many materials as they do for the Christmas holidays. Strings of decorative lights, fog machines, strobe and black lights, animatronics and electrically powered decorations all add to the ambience of Halloween, but improperly used, can create added dangers of fire, shock and other potentially disastrous accidents.
Norris Public Power District urges everyone to use caution and look for potential hazards while decorating and operating holiday displays. “These decorations have been packed away since last year in basements, garages and sheds,” says Trevor Wehrer, Manager of Operations and Safety. “Weather, time and even mice can damage cords and insulation on electric decorations, making them unsafe. Make sure you discard any damaged sets.”
Norris Public Power District offers these tips:
P Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracking, fraying or bare wires may cause a serious shock or start a fire. Replace any damaged products.
I Before using any light strings, animated displays or other electrical products outdoors, make sure the product is approved by a nationally recognized certification organization such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and marked for outdoor use.
D Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations.
M Don’t overload extension cords or allow them to run through water on the ground. Typically, one extension cord should only have three strands of lights connected to it at most, but you should also check that the extension cord is rated for its intended use.
S Plug outdoor electric lights
and decorations into outlets protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If your outdoor outlets don’t have them, either contact a qualified electrician to install them or use portable GFCIs instead.
AWhen decorating outside, always be sure to look up and double check that you and any equipment, such as a ladder or a light strand, are a minimum 10 feet away from overhead power lines. When securing light strands, never staple or nail them into place. This could
H damage the product.
Keep electrical cords out of walkway areas to avoid causing a tripping hazard.
B Lastly, turn off all electrical light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to sleep. A timer can help you do this.
 Avoid real scares this Halloween and decorate safely.
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