Don’t Take a ‘Vacation’ when Decking the Halls!

Published 10:25 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

Special to The Leader

BEAUMONT, Texas – When Clark Griswold sets out to create a festive holiday atmosphere in the movie classic, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” all havoc breaks loose. He staples his sleeve to the gutter, loses his balance on the ladder, slides off the roof and can’t get the 25,000 twinkling lights to work because of faulty wiring. Once the lights do work, he causes a power outage because of the amount of electricity they use.

Don’t take a ‘vacation’ when decking the halls! Entergy reminds you to be safe and save energy when lighting up the season. Check out these important tips:


  • Make sure the lights used are designated for outdoor use and the cords are not worn or frayed.
  • Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights, and 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.


  • 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 LED lights, which burn cooler and use about 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.
  • 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 cannot trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.


“Our most important message to you is to respect electricity at all times,” said Vernon Pierce, director of customer service for Entergy Texas. “Following safety guidelines can make sure you and your family stays safe and gets to enjoy this time with those you care about.”

Entergy Texas, Inc. delivers electricity to more than 430,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated 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 including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.