Deck the Halls and do it safely.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
The holiday season is upon us. It’s the time of year for fun, cheer, and holiday lights! With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s important to keep safety — particularly electrical safety — at the top of your holiday list.
Did you know that nearly 5,000 people visit the emergency room each holiday season due to indoor and outdoor electric decoration mishaps, according to the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission?
Don’t be part of that statistic. Here are six tips, courtesy of Electric Safety Foundation International (EFSI), to keep you safe while decking the halls:
- Check it Twice — Be sure to check strings of lights for broken bulbs, cracked sockets or loose connections. Also check each decoration’s electrical cord to ensure they are not frayed or cut.
- Easy There Clark — When hooking up electrical holiday decorations, don’t overload circuits, outlets, or extension cords with too many plugs. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how many sets of lights can be safely connected. Too many strings can cause a potential overload, which is one of the leading causes of house fires.
- Up on the Rooftop — When stringing up outdoor lights, always use a dry wooden or fiberglass ladder and stay clear of any overhead powerlines. You, your decorations, and your equipment should be at least 10 feet away from powerlines at all times.
- Hang them with Care — When hanging electrical holiday decorations, don’t use nails, screws, tacks, or staples to hang them. Piercing the cord could damage the wire’s insulation and cause electrical shock or fire. Try using plastic or insulated clips instead.
- Home Alone — If you are leaving the house, be sure you turn off your holiday lights and decorations. And do the same when you’re sleeping. Using an automatic timer can make it easier to turn everything off, or on, precisely when you want to.
- Bah Hum-Rug — When decorating indoors, don’t run any extension cords under rugs or carpets. Plus, be sure to discard any older, outdated, or damaged extension cords to help prevent the risk of a fire.
Don’t let something preventable ruin your holiday season. A little bit of preparation can help you make your season bright, and most importantly, safe.
Colder winter temperatures can mean more energy use and higher bills. We’re here to help. If you’re struggling with your electric bills, you have options that can ease the burden:
- OnTrack: If you’re eligible, this PPL Electric program can help with lower, fixed monthly payments and debt forgiveness.
- LIHEAP: A federal program, LIHEAP offers grants to help offset your energy bills or pay off past-due balances.
- ERAP: Since 2020, our customers have received more than $10 million in assistance from this federal program. If you rent your home and your income was impacted by the pandemic, ERAP may be able to help.
- Operation HELP: This PPL Electric fund, supported by customers and employees, provides free grants to eligible customers.
- WRAP: Energy efficiency can help you save money. If you’re eligible for WRAP, you can receive free energy efficiency products and services.
To learn more about all the ways we can help this winter – and for energy efficiency tools, tips, and programs – visit pplelectric.com/highbill today.
Winter is coming. But you can take control of your electric bill with rebates on ENERGY STAR® certified products.
Up to $450 rebates on certified heat pumps: Heat pumps transfer heat into or out of your home depending on the season. That means you don’t need to use energy to generate heat in the winter or cool air in the summer.
$400 rebates on ductless mini-split heat pumps: Mini-split heat pumps can provide highly efficient, year-round heating and cooling in spaces without existing ductwork.
$400 rebates on heat pump water heaters: Like a refrigerator in reverse, a heat pump water heater captures heat from the surrounding air to heat the water in the tank.
Up to $100 rebates on smart thermostats: Many models can learn to automatically adjust temperatures based on your schedule and preferences.
Ready to cozy up to a rebate? Get started at pplelectric.com/equipment.
Whether you love winter, hate it, or simply don’t give a snowflake, we want you to stay safe when a winter storm strikes. ❄️
Electrical safety is just part of the story when the snow starts piling up. We’re ready to safely respond to any resulting power outages. The question is: Are you prepared to stay safe – at home and on the road?
Here are 10 ways to stay safe when Mother Nature really brings the snow.
- Don’t wear loose clothing, like scarves, that can get pulled into a snow blower’s moving parts.
- Always turn off your snow blower, or unplug it if it’s an electric model, before clearing a clog at the auger or discharge chute.
- Start and run your snow blower outside, never in a garage or enclosed space where carbon monoxide can accumulate.
- If you have a history of heart problems, or you’re inactive, check with your doctor before shoveling. And stretch beforehand to prevent muscle injuries.
- Dress in layers and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It’s not a race. Take breaks if you get tired.
- If you don’t have to travel – stay home. Winter weather causes about a half million crashes each year, resulting in over 2,000 deaths.
- If you must drive, slow down, accelerate and decelerate slowly, and increase your following distance to 5 or 6 seconds.
- Going long distance? Let others know your destination, route, and estimated arrival time. Pack a kit that includes blankets and heavy clothing for emergencies, along with extra food and water.
- If you’re stuck, stay with your vehicle. If necessary, clear the exhaust pipe to eliminate deadly carbon monoxide fumes from entering your vehicle. To conserve gas, run your car for short periods, just enough to remove the chill.
- Always stay clear of any downed power lines and call PPL at 1-800-342-5775 to report them. Assume any downed line is energized.
Sources: American Automobile Association; Consumer Reports; Mayo Clinic; PPL Electric Utilities
It’s winter storm season in Pennsylvania. Even if you don’t tune into the weather reports, you’ll recognize the signs of an impending storm by the parking lot of your local grocery store.
So how can you prepare in advance and stay safe when a winter storm strikes? We have some tips that will help before, during and after the snowfall.
- Create a household and vehicle emergency kit with all the essentials, including water, food and any medication you take on a daily basis.
- Listen for weather alerts and advisories so you’re not caught unprepared.
- Charge your cell phone and keep a flashlight nearby in case of a power outage.
- Stay off the roads. This helps clear traffic for first responders.
- If you have a generator, make sure to follow our Emergency Tips for storm and generator safety.
- Stay warm and indoors. It’s a great time to pile on the blankets and cuddle up with a good book.
- When shoveling snow, dress warm and limit your time outside to avoid frostbite and overexertion.
- Monitor the weather alerts and advisories before heading out on the road.
The Department of Homeland Security offers even more information on staying safe during snowstorms. Check out their resources at ready.gov/winter-weather.