In an effort to help residents across the Commonwealth remain safe during the holiday season, NSTAR released a list of safety tips regarding the use of home decorations.
“Holiday lights have become much more efficient than the older-style bulbs of years past,” said Bill Stack, NSTAR’s energy efficiency spokesman in a statement Wednesday. “With newer technology now available in many more options, today’s lighting displays can help a family save money and energy this holiday season.”
Holiday lights using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) use 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, according to NSTAR, and they’re much more durable and can last years longer. Additionally, operating 10 strings of mini-LED lights compared to 10 strings of standard mini-lights can save nearly $12 in energy costs in one month.
NSTAR also recommended to customers that a good way to keep bills down without sacrificing the spirit of the season is to use timers to control when the lights go on and off. Doing so before leaving home or going to bed is safe and efficient.
The following are safety tips NSTAR has offered when decorating one's home:
- Be sure that electrical circuits and extension cords are properly rated and not overloaded.
- Use only lights and electric decorations that carry the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety label.
- Before reusing last year’s lights, inspect them for damage to wires or sockets.
- Always unplug a light string or decoration before replacing fuses or bulbs.
- To avoid overheating or damage, never run electrical cords under rugs.
- Be sure to look for overhead power lines before raising or climbing a ladder outdoors.
- Use only outdoor-approved lighting and extension cords when decorating outdoors.
- Plug outdoor lights and decorations into outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters