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Keep Holidays Colorful & Safe

Keep the season full of good memories by following holiday safety tips

Colorful lights are part of the holidays. To make sure this season creates only good memories for you:

  • Remember to look up and all around for electric wires before hanging lights outside on your house, and use a spotter.

  • Keep yourself, ladders, tools and lights at least 10 feet away from any electric wires, and carry ladders or long tools parallel to the ground.

  • Use only outdoor lights outside.

  • Do not place any personal items (including holiday lights, bird houses, etc.) on Xcel Energy equipment.

The National Safety Council also recommends:

  • Checking for broken sockets, frayed wires and loose connections. Replace or repair damaged light sets.

  • Using no more than three light sets on one extension cord.

  • Turning off lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave home.

  • Choosing an artificial tree, if that’s your preference, that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

  • Fastening outdoor lights firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage. Never tack, pull or stress the wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground and away from puddles and snow.

Getting your home ready for the holidays is also a good time to check your natural gas appliances. Examine your furnace, oven, hot water heater, dryer and fireplace to ensure their venting systems are clear of debris and able to operate properly. Carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas, is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuel. When inhaled, a person can become fatigued or suffer from headaches, nausea and dizziness. High levels of carbon monoxide can cause death.

To prevent CO poisoning, hire a qualified contractor yearly to inspect your home’s fuel burning appliances and venting systems for proper ventilation. Another important step is to install CO detectors in central locations in your home, and near each separate sleeping area.

More ways to keep your family, including your pets, safe during the holidays are available from and the websites of the Consumer Product Safety Council and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Energy Saving Tip

A programmable thermostat can help you save big on energy costs, adjusting the temperature when you're at work, at play, or asleep.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Install carbon monoxide detectors and annually hire a qualified contractor to inspect your home for proper ventilation.

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