HOUSTON – December 13, 2011 – With the holiday season in full swing, CenterPoint Energy is reminding the public to put safety first while decorating for the holiday season.
“We want to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season without any mishaps that could have been prevented,” said Dan Robinson, supervisor of public safety for CenterPoint Energy. “Safety is our top priority and these easy tips can help keep families out of harm’s way, as well as help keep electric power on.”
To stay safe:
• When installing outdoor holiday lighting, check for overhead power lines and always stay at least 10 feet away.
• Never install or throw strings of lights into trees located near power lines or on any utility poles and street lights.
• Always use “UL” listed or similarly approved light string and extension cords.
• Only plug outdoor decorations into outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent shock.
Holiday lighting can also increase electricity consumption and the amount of money a homeowner spends on energy.
• Use LED lighting, which use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. LED lights can also have a much longer life, helping lessen the need for bulb and light strand replacement.
• Look for Energy Star-qualified lighting – other LED lights can lose color quality and light output over time.
• Use timers to avoid having lights on during daylight hours.
“The cost of LED lights is coming down, so when old lights burn out, it would be practical for consumers to replace them with LED lighting,” said Charlie Flynn, director of energy efficiency for CenterPoint Energy. “This would be both energy and cost efficient during a time when electricity consumption can be high.”
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total nearly $21 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years.