(Albuquerque, NM) – ‘Tis the season to decorate safely! While the glow of the holiday lights can provide an inviting and festive feel to any home or business, incidents of home fires and electrical accidents increase during the winter holiday season, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. PNM encourages everyone to keep the following tips in mind to help stay safe this holiday season: 

·       Always look up and exercise caution outdoors when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 15 feet from power lines, and always carry ladders horizontally.

·       Consider purchasing LED lights which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.

·       Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

·       Use a GFCI outlet for outdoor lights, and of course, ensure the right lights for the environment (outdoor vs indoor).

·       Inspect all electrical decorations for damage before use. Damaged cords may cause a serious shock or can start a fire.

·       Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.

·       If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep it well-watered.

·       Protect electrical cords from damage. Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.

·       When buying electronic toys for children, read the manufacturer’s instructions & warning labels. Note if the item is appropriate for the child’s age group & determine whether adult supervision is required.

·       Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses and turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

“Families are decorating their homes more this year to bring some extra joy and happiness during this pandemic,” said Chad Krukowski, director for the PNM Safety Department. “Just being extra mindful can help prevent serious accidents.” 

For additional safety tips, visit PNM.com/safety. 

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