FirstEnergy Corp.’s (NYSE:FE) annual “Merry & Bright” Holiday Lights Contest is back, and utility customers are once again invited to show off their best and brightest outdoor holiday light displays for the chance to win a weekly prize.
A photo or video of customers’ outdoor lighting displays can be submitted on their respective electric company’s Facebook page until Friday, Dec. 18. One entry from each of FirstEnergy’s 10 utility companies will be randomly selected to receive a $100 Amazon® gift card each week. The winning entries will be shared on Facebook.
Participants must be 18 years old and current FirstEnergy customers. Additional information and complete contest rules are available on each utility’s Facebook page.
Keep Safety Top of Mind During the Holidays
As homes are adorned with twinkling lights, trees, wreaths and more, FirstEnergy reminds customers to decorate safely for the holidays, as well as how to stay safe around electricity and near the company’s power lines and equipment. By taking the proper precautions both inside and outside of the home, customers can prevent hazards and focus on enjoying the holiday season.
Stop. Look. Live. – Decorate Safely Outdoors
- FirstEnergy encourages everyone to follow three simple steps to avoid dangerous accidental contact with electrical equipment:
- Stop. Stop what you’re doing to consider your personal safety before beginning to work.
- Look. Look around for potential hazards and identify a way to avoid the hazard.
- Live. Prevent serious injury or death by taking precautions to avoid accidental contact with electrical equipment.
- Do not install outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations under or near any electric power lines. If an object comes in contact with the utility’s electrical equipment, do not attempt to remove it. Call 888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877) so that a FirstEnergy crew can remove it safely.
- Check all lights for frayed wires or areas where insulation has pulled away from plugs or sockets. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.
- Do not hammer tacks or nails into the electrical cord when hanging lights. Instead, use clips to safely attach lights to the house.
- Use only extension cords that are approved for outdoor use. These cords must meet rigorous safety standards that indoor cords may not meet.
- Outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations should be plugged into outlets protected by ground fault interrupters.
- Place outdoor lights on a timer or turn them off before going to bed. This also helps to manage electricity use during the holiday season.
- Lights should be approved by Underwriters Laboratory. “UL” will be clearly displayed on the tag, signifying the product has been inspected for potential safety hazards. Red UL marks indicate the lights are safe for indoor/outdoor use, and green UL marks indicate the lights are only safe for indoor use.
More outdoor safety information for families, contractors, first responders and more is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety.
Indoor Lighting Safety
- Inspect all light strings and cords for any damage, including frayed wires or insulation that has pulled away from light sockets or plugs. Also check for damage from chewing or scratching if there are pets in the house. Discard and replace any damaged light strings.
- No more than three strings of standard indoor lights should be connected to any extension cord.
- Make sure cords are placed where they won’t be stepped on, kinked or pose a tripping hazard.
- Lights should not touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.
- Lights should be turned off overnight and when no one is home.
- Live trees should be kept well-watered.
For more holiday safety tips and to enter the “Merry & Bright” Holiday Lights Contest, connect with a FirstEnergy utility company on Facebook