NEW JERSEY – As Halloween nears, FirstEnergy Corp. reminds the public to keep safety top of mind as they decorate their homes and partake in seasonal festivities. Celebrating responsibly will help keep people of all ages safe and the electricity flowing reliably this season.
“Halloween is a peak time of year for spooky celebrations and activities, but it also has the potential to present some truly scary electrical hazards if simple precautions aren’t taken,” said Candace Webb, manager of public safety at FirstEnergy. “As children and adults celebrate the holiday, we want them to know where potential electrical or fire risks exist so they can take the steps needed to minimize them.”
Keep Your Home Spooky and Safe
If your home will be decked out with eerie lights and jack-o’-lanterns, take the time to ensure all decorations are installed safely and functioning properly.
Consider these safety measures while decorating this Halloween:
- Never put any decorations on or near utility equipment, like poles and transformers.
- Inspect each electrical cord of lights and decorations before use. Look for damage such as cracked, frayed or bare wires, damaged sockets or loose connections that can lead to shocks. If a cord is hot, don’t use it.
- Use the proper clips for securing lights and decorations. Staples and nails can damage electrical cords.
- Decorative lights should be approved by Underwriter’s Laboratory and carry a UL seal on the tag. Red UL marks indicate the lights are approved for indoor or outdoor use, while green UL tags indicate approval for indoor use only.
- Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into outlets that feature Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
- Indoor lights should not touch window treatments, carpet or furniture.
- Replace traditional candles with flame-free options like flashlights, battery-operated candles or glow sticks to light up your jack-o’-lanterns or seasonal decor.
- Keep flammable decorations, like cornstalks and bales of hay, far away from any open flames or heat sources, such as candles, heaters and light bulbs.
Stay Safe While Trick-or-Treating
While collecting treats this season, the following tips can help keep your family and friends safe during popular events, including trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treat:
- Keep a clear, well-lit path at your home for trick-or-treaters. Prevent falls by keeping walkways, steps and porches free of electrical cords or any other items that may pose a hazard for trick-or-treaters.
- Carry a flashlight or add reflective tape, LED shoelaces or glow sticks to your costume to make yourself more visible to others in dark or dimly lit areas.
- Limit travel to well-lit, familiar areas. Always walk in groups and use sidewalks or crosswalks whenever possible.
- Motorists should use extra caution and keep an eye out for children crossing the street. Know the trick-or-treat hours in your neighborhood and anticipate heavy foot traffic.
Customers are reminded to report any issues with their streetlights so they can be addressed as quickly as possible. Here are the best ways to report a streetlight outage:
- Call FirstEnergy at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) and say “streetlight” after the greeting
- Report the lighting problem online
- When reporting a streetlight outage, please provide the following information:
- Your name and phone number (in case we need more information).
- Address where the streetlight is located (nearest house or business address and the nearest cross street).
- Number on the utility pole.
- What is wrong with the streetlight (damaged pole; broken light fixture; light is off at night, on during the day, or flickers).
Visit www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety to learn about FirstEnergy’s “Stop. Look. Live.” safety campaign to educate the public about staying safe around electricity and near power lines and equipment.