Central Maine Power has offered holiday safety tips.
Dry Christmas tree limbs and electric lighting can be a dangerous combination. Keep your live tree fresh and cut its base at a 45-degree angle before you put it in its base, so it can absorb more water. Give it water daily and remove it promptly after the holiday, or when it becomes dry.
Consider LED decorative lights, which produce less heat and use less energy than traditional lights. The cooler-burning LEDs can reduce the drying effect on the tree.
Carefully inspect cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items. Look for the UL label on the packaging, showing that they’ve been factory tested.
Push wires toward the center of the tree, out of reach of children and pets, and clip them securely to the branches.
Keep flammable decorations away from the tree's lights. Also make sure that electric window candles do not touch drapes or other flammable objects.
Run cords away from high-traffic areas to prevent tripping hazards. Never run cords under rugs, since they can overheat.
Never use electric lights on metallic trees. Avoid using plastic trees that are not flame-resistant.
Turn off decorative lights before going to sleep and when you leave home. Consider using a programmable timer to control displays.
Avoid overloading electrical circuits or extension cords. Follow the instructions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings and extension cords. If a cord feels hot to the touch, it is overloaded and can cause an electrical fire.
Plan escape routes for your family in case of a fire or other emergency.
In the kitchen, keep close watch on your stovetop, grill and oven while in use. Never use them for heating.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in every bedroom. Install a carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area. Test monthly, and replace batteries twice a year, when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
Before decorating outside your home, look up and around the area to identify overhead lines and other hazards. Keep yourself, ladders and tools far away from overhead lines, as well as anything that might be in contact with them.
Use only outdoor-approved lights that can withstand cold temperatures, and inspect them for damage.
Avoid piling leaves, snow or yard debris against utility meters or furnace vents, to ensure they operate properly and can be easily accessed.
Customers can monitor their holiday energy use and learn how to save during the holidays — and year-round — using Energy Manager – find more on the CMP website.