As you spend time with your family and friends this holiday season, be sure to follow these safety and efficiency tips from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
Keeping holiday decorations safe
As Ohioans make their homes festive, they should keep these safety guidelines in mind.
- Check strands of holiday bulbs. Discard strands of lights that have damaged cords.
- Use the correct type of bulbs for indoor and outdoor use, and plug bulbs into a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker.
- When using a ladder to hang holiday bulbs, stay clear of nearby power lines.
- When shopping for a live tree, look for a fresh one. Dry trees are a greater fire hazard than fresh ones.
- When using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame-resistant.
- Do not place a tree near the fireplace, heat vents or portable heaters and use nonflammable ornaments to decorate the tree.
- Before using the fireplace, open the flue to ensure proper ventilation.
- Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition and have fresh batteries.
Managing home energy bills
Enjoying the holidays does not have to mean higher energy bills. Here are some ways to manage electric and natural gas bills this season.
- Use energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) holiday bulbs. Although more expensive than standard holiday bulbs, LED bulbs last longer and lead to savings.
- Put outdoor bulbs on a timer to save electricity.
- Keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees. A programmable thermostat is an affordable way to stay comfortable and save energy.
- When traveling, set the thermostat to 55 degrees to save energy and prevent water pipes from freezing.
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