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Akron, Ohio – Twinkling lights and illuminated decorations help add magic to the holidays. FirstEnergy Corp’s (NYSE: FE) utilities encourage customers to remember a few helpful tips to ensure the holidays remain safe and efficient and to share their best outdoor holiday lighting displays for a chance to win a weekly prize.
Outdoor Lighting Safety
• Check all lights for frayed wires or areas where insulation has pulled away from plugs or sockets. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.
• Ensure that tacks or nails used to hold light strings do not pierce any insulation on wires or light sockets.
• Use only extension cords that are approved for outdoor use. These cords must meet rigorous safety standards that indoor cords may not meet.
• Outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations should be plugged into outlets protected by ground fault interrupters.
• Place outdoor lights on a timer or turn them off before you go to bed.
• Outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations must not be installed under or near any electric power lines.
Indoor Lighting Safety
• Inspect all light strings and cords for any damage, including frayed wires or insulation that has pulled away from light sockets or plugs. Also check for chewing or scratching damage if you have pets in the house. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.
• Live trees should be kept well-watered.
• No more than three strings of standard indoor lights should be connected to any extension cord.
• Make sure cords are placed where they won’t be stepped on, kinked or pose a tripping hazard.
• Lights should not be permitted to touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.
• Lights should be turned off overnight and when no one is home.
• LED lights use 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights and tend to last 25 times longer.
• Look for “warm” white on the label of LED lights to achieve the look of incandescent lights.
• Stock up on holiday lights and decorations right after Christmas when they are on clearance.
• Set timers for lights to automatically turn on when it gets dark and off in the middle of the night.
Merry & Bright Holiday Lights Contest
Customers are invited to show off their best and brightest outdoor holiday light displays by entering FirstEnergy’s “Merry & Bright” Holiday Lights Contest.
A photo or video of customers’ outdoor lighting displays can be submitted on their respective electric company's Facebook page until Friday, Dec. 14. One entry from each of FirstEnergy’s 10 utility companies will be randomly selected to receive a $100 Amazon gift card each week. Winning entries will be shared on Facebook each week.
Participants must be 18 years old and FirstEnergy customers. More information, including complete contest rules, are available on each utility’s Facebook page.