As Holiday Light Displays Ramp Up, So Do Evergy’s Safety Tips

By Ryan Duey

As many continue to decorate their homes for the holidays, Evergy has warned homeowners that before they pull lights out of storage, they should remember a few safety tips.

The U.S. Fire Administration announced that nearly 24,000 electrical fires happen each year. Evergy has reminded customers that decorations should all have labels from independent testing laboratories like Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL). If they do not then they have not been tested for safety and could be a fire hazard.

Evergy gave these important tips to ensure a safe holiday:

· Inspect electrical decorations for damage – Discard them if there are cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, or loose connections.

· Make sure holiday lights and decorations are properly rated for indoor or outdoor use – Only use indoor lights inside your home, and only use outdoor lights outside. Not all lights are built to handle winter weather.

· Do not overload outlets – Overloaded outlets are a common cause of fires. Only plug one power strip or one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.

· Do not connect more than three strings of lights – This could blow a fuse and start a fire.

· Use battery-operated candles – Almost half of all decoration fires are started by candles.

· Protect your electrical cords from damage – Do not pinch them through doorways, windows, or under furniture. Do not place them under rugs or near heat sources.

· When headed to bed, decorations should be turned off – Turn off, and unplug all decorations when they are not attended to. Extinguish all candles. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths happen between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Remembering these important tips will help you and your family have a safe, festive holiday season.

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional