LIST: Safety tips to avoid electrical accidents during Christmas, New Year
MANILA, Philippines — The holiday season has arrived again as Christmas lights adorn homes and fireworks flare up the sky, so here is a list of safety precautions to avoid any electrical accidents, according to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
1. Use quality Christmas lights
Meralco urged the public to ensure that Christmas lights have the appropriate quality control markings and that they are for indoor and outdoor use. The company also reminded households not to overload their sockets, which can result in fire or accidents.
“When installing decorations outdoors, inspect for loose connections first and possible damages, especially near power lines,” said Meralco in a statement on Friday.
Officials from the Cebu City Fire Office have previously reminded citizens that the improper use of Christmas lights can cause fires.
2. Unplug Christmas lights, devices, and appliances when not in use
“While Christmas lights and colorful lanterns make the house more festive, don’t forget to unplug them before going to bed or when leaving the home,” reminded the electricity firm.
Since some people celebrate the holidays by going on a trip, Meralco also reminded those on vacation to ensure that all of their electrical appliances are unplugged.
“It is also better to turn off your circuit breakers before leaving,” it added.
3. Avoid firecrackers and party props near power lines
Meralco cautioned against using party items, such as balloons, confetti, and fireworks, around electrical wires.
“We advise the public not to play with firecrackers and pyrotechnics near electric lines and transformers as these may cause power interruptions and even result in accidents,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga urged.
4. Have water or fire extinguisher ready when using fireworks
To avoid fire accidents, Meralco urged families to have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby when playing with firecrackers, especially if the pyrotechnics come in contact with flammable materials.
“Ensure that family members know how to use fire extinguishers,” said Meralco.
The Bureau of Fire Protection reported 13 fires due to firecrackers last year. Meanwhile, there were 85 reported firecracker-related injuries, according to the Department of Health.