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Con Edison Media Relations
Contact: D. Joy Faber
Telephone: (212) 460-4111

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2000

CON EDISON OFFERS LIGHTING TIPS FOR A SAFE AND BRIGHT HOLIDAY SEASON

(New York, N.Y.) - Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. [NYSE:ED] urges everyone using holiday lighting displays to follow common-sense safety rules:

  • Before buying or installing any holiday lights, make sure they carry the seal of approval of a recognized safety testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory Manual (FM).
  • When installing lights or assembling displays, carefully follow the instructions and safety tips recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Before using lighting devices youíve had in storage, inspect all cords for worn or frayed areas, breaks or brittleness, particularly at the plugs and connections. Defective lights and cords should be replaced.
  • Use extension cords sparingly to avoid electrical overloads. Avoid using a multi-armed plug to connect strings of lights to a single household wiring circuit.
  • All light sets should have fuses to prevent electrical overloads. Generally, not more than four lighting strings should be coupled end-to-end. If more than four lighting strings are used, connect them in another outlet.
  • Place electrical cords in safe, out-of-the way places. Avoid running cords under rugs, through doorways, or near furniture where they may be stepped on, tripped over, or become frayed or broken.
  • If purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant with the approved UL or FM label, before decorating with holiday lighting.
  • If purchasing a fresh tree, place the tree in a stand designed not to tip over, and keep it away from heat sources. Be sure to water the tree constantly. Holiday lighting on dry trees can be a potential fire hazard.
  • Never leave holiday lighting on when leaving the house or going to bed. Combustibles of any kind should be at least three feet away from live Christmas trees. The same tip applies for furnishings and drapes.
  • Holiday candles should never be left unattended. Make sure candles are placed in sturdy, non-combustible holders, and are kept away from decorations and other combustible materials. Check candles frequently to make sure they do not burn down too far or drip hot wax.
  • Do not leave children unattended in a room with lit candles, and always keep candles, as well as matches and lighters out of reach of children.

Con Edison also suggests these additional safety tips for outdoor holiday lighting:

  • Use laboratory-approved fixtures, cords and bulbs that are weatherproof and designed specifically for outside lighting.
  • Connect the outdoor lighting only to a special circuit designed to protect against moisture and short circuits. Do not run ordinary lightweight indoor quality extension cords outdoors.
  • Do not install or adjust outdoor lighting displays during rain, snow or wet weather or with the lamps on.
  • Use the appropriate holiday lighting clips or fasteners to display exterior lighting. Be sure the electrical power source is off, when installing exterior lighting with any metal fasteners or staples.
  • Bring outdoor lights inside following the holidays so they are not damaged by extended exposure to harsh weather conditions.
  • Do not place cords around or near metal pipes, appliances or anything that is damp or metallic.
  • Disconnect electric cords before replacing burned out bulbs or making any adjustments.
  • Do not turn on lighting displays or leave them on unless there is a responsible adult present to supervise.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nationís largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $9 billion in annual revenues and $16 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edisonís web site at www.coned.com.


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