Beaumont, Texas – This is the time of year when many of us

pull holiday decorations out of the attic and make plans for meaningful

time with children, family and friends. At Entergy, we want to share

important safety and energy-saving tips as you

light up the season.

“We care about the safety of

our customers, so our most important message is to respect electricity

at all times,” said Jerry Irvine, a senior safety specialist for line

crews at Entergy Texas, Inc. “When putting up

outdoor lights, stay away from overhead power lines and the line that

brings service to your home. Use a fiberglass or wooden ladder that

doesn’t conduct electricity. If you have a live tree inside, make sure

it stays fresh and green – the needles should be

hard to pull off. And always inspect your lights before you use them –

if the cords are worn or frayed, throw them away.”

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association

show an estimated 260 structure fires annually are caused by Christmas

trees, and another 170 are caused by faulty holiday lighting. Together

they caused 21 deaths in 2009.

“Following safety guidelines can make sure you and your

family stay safe, and that you get to enjoy this time with those you

care about,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director for Entergy

Texas, Inc. He added that energy-efficient lighting

also can save customers money on their electricity costs, which goes a

long way this time of year.

“Finances get tight this time of year for most of us,”

Pierce said. “We care about helping customers keep electricity costs as

low as possible. Using lights that use less power can help.

Light-emitting diode – or LED – bulbs have become a popular

choice for holiday decorating and save electricity. In fact, LED bulbs

use up to 90 percent less energy than an incandescent or traditional

bulb to produce the same amount of light.”

For example, the amount of electricity just one seven-watt

incandescent bulb consumes could power 140 LED bulbs – enough to light

two 24-foot strings. Many ENERGY STAR-qualified decorative lights

feature LED technology. For more information, visit

“From our family to yours—be safe, save energy and have a happy holiday season,” Pierce said.

Inside lighting:


If using a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green, with needles that are hard to pull from the branches.


Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.


Examine all lights

before putting them on the tree or using them in other home decorations.

Do not use lights with frayed wiring or loose sockets and make sure

they have been tested for safety by an independent

testing laboratory.


For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights.


Make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them. Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.


Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations.


Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified.


Be careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.


Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.


Place wires where they can not trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.

Outside lighting:


Make sure the lights are designated for outdoor use.


Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights. Also, stay clear of all overhead wires.


Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.


Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.


For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.


Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.


Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes.


Turn outside holiday lights off when away from home or asleep.


Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27

counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an


energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and

retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants

with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and

it is the second-largest nuclear generator in

the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility

customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has

annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000