Even something as simple as light warrants guidelines for safe use. We've provided the steps to help you do just that.
General Lighting Safety
Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs if they have a higher wattage than recommended. If you don't know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Light bulbs can get very hot - up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for a 100-watt bulb. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat. If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match the amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord and appliance to avoid a fire hazard.
Halogen Floor Lamps
Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use tall lamps, which can easily be knocked over, in a child's bedroom or playroom.
Duquesne Light maintains streetlights throughout most of Allegheny County and parts of Beaver County. To report a street light outage for City of Pittsburgh addresses, please call 412-255-LITE (5483). For other street light outages within Duquesne Light's service territory, please call 412-393-7000, extension 4.
Holiday Lighting Safety
- Purchase lights that are U/L (Underwriter's Laboratory) approved.
- Check annually for frayed or exposed wiring, broken bulbs or sockets and loose connections.
- Don't overload extension cords or outlets.
- Keep a U/L listed multi-purpose fire extinguisher nearby, but only attempt to use the extinguisher if you know how to operate it and if the fire is small.
- When you are unplugging lights, remember to grasp the plug &emdash; don't pull on the cord.
- Follow the manufacturer's limits for the number of light strings that can safely be connected together.
- Install LED holiday lights. LED lights are shatterproof and shock resistant. Because LEDs produce almost no heat, they are safe to touch and greatly reduce the risk of fire. LED lights are also more energy efficient and can last up to 20 holiday seasons
- Be mindful of where you run electrical cords. Avoid electrical cords under carpets, cushions or anywhere they might be easily crushed or broken.
- Make sure lights used to decorate the outside of the structure are approved for outdoor use. Never use indoor lights outdoors.
- Hang outdoor lights with insulated staples or Christmas light hooks &emdash; not nails or tacks.
- Hang bulbs downward to keep moisture out of sockets.
- Remember to check for overhead power lines when hanging your decorations. Before stringing outdoor lights, look overhead. Don't place yourself or any object in a position where you or it may come in contact with a power line. The result can be fatal.
- Look for power lines before raising ladders or other objects. Do not come in contact with the line and keep at least 10 feet away from overhead lines.
- Before stringing lights on outdoor trees, make sure tree limbs haven't grown into or near power lines. Branches, an entire tree, and even the ground adjacent to a tree can become energized when trees contact power lines.
- Place your tree in a sturdy, tip-proof stand away from high traffic areas and heat sources.
- Keep the stand for a live tree filled with lukewarm water and a little bit of sugar, and check it daily
- Use only a U/L approved plastic tree made of fire resistant material.