“No Aunt Bethany, those are Christmas lights!”

Do you aspire to be your neighbor’s Clark Griswold??

It’s that time of year again!! Decorations, baking, entertaining, eggnog, time with family (leading to more eggnog & WINE) & friends. And as much as we love the eggnog & WINE, we really love the decorations! Driving about on a crisp winter evening and looking at the lights in and about our WILMINGTON neighborhood is one of our favorite holiday pastimes. And although we are more of an understated candle lights in the window & deer in yard with a few more tastefully strung in trees/bushes kind of FAMILY, we sincerely appreciate the families who go all “Clark Griswold” on their houses.

Of course more lights = more energy = higher bills! And who can afford that especially with all the pressure to find the perfect gift in an economy that continues to struggle? The good news is that, on average, holiday lights cost just pennies a day. Especially if you are more of an “understated” kind of decorator like we are. But if you do fancy yourself the neighborhood Clark Griswold, you should read on!Holiday Light Safety

Many homes and businesses throughout Delmarva Power service territories celebrate the holidays with colorful lighting and decorative ornaments. Following is information to help make sure those beautiful displays are safe!

Inside Your Home or Business

Make sure the lights you use are tested and approved by Underwriter Laboratories. Read the manufacturer’s specifications for how many strings of lights can be safely connected; too many lights attached together can overload a circuit, creating a fire hazard.

Inspect lights and extension cords carefully. Look for cut or frayed wires, broken sockets and exposed wires. Replace or repair those items before use.

Don’t overload outlets or extension cords. Don’t place extension cords under furniture or rugs; the cords could overheat and create a fire hazard. Make sure you turn off all lights when you leave the premises or go to bed.

Keep lights and ornamental accessories and plugs away from sources of water or moisture. You may even want to cover the base of your tree stand to prevent lights from falling into it.

Check the batteries in your smoke detector for added protection.

Outside Your Home or Business

Make sure lights are rated for outdoor use. Never use indoor-rated lights outside. Always plug outside lights into an outlet with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Outlets with GFCIs help protect you from serious shock if lights or tools have an electrical malfunction.

Are you putting lights on the roof? Carry ladders and other equipment parallel to the ground. To avoid the risk of injury, before raising anything into the air, look up to be sure you’re clear of power lines. To access more information about working safely near overhead power lines, click on:

For additional safety information

Read “Energy News You Can Use,” Delmarva Power’s monthly customer newsletter, and refer to the general electrical safety section of this web site.

So unless you want to give up your Clark Griswold fantasies and instead become the neighborhood Scrooge (Bah! Humbug!), maybe it’s time to be smarter about the type of lights you use. Look into updating your tangled strings of incandescent bulbs for some new (and not yet tangled) LED bulbs. The money spent on new bulbs will quickly may be recovered in energy savings. That is enough to make even Scrooge sing “Joy to the World!”

Do you or your neighbors go all out decorating for the holidays? If so, we’d LOVE to see the pictures! Please share them on our FACEBOOK PAGE or right here!

Maybe NorthDelaWHEREHappening.com can help…