PUCO offers ideas for a safe holiday season
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Dec. 5, 2013) – This time of year, many Ohio families begin putting up decorations to celebrate the holidays. Decorations help make the season bright, but they can also create safety hazards. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers safety and conservation tips to help Ohioans stay safe and keep energy bills manageable during the holidays.
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.
Ohioans interested in learning additional ways to save money on home heating bills should visit the state of Ohio’s Winter Heating Resource Center at winterheat.ohio.gov. The PUCO’s consumer call center at
(800) 686-PUCO (7826) is available as well to help answer questions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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