The Christmas season is upon us and so is the hustle, bustle, and extravagance which comes with this once-yearly celebration. Primary among the features of this occasion are the many lights strung up in and around homes and other buildings which usually serve to exemplify the notion of a ‘bright’ Christmas.

But even a ‘bright’ Christmas must be embraced with caution and this has been amplified by the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) – the provider of electricity across the nation. The company is moreover on a mission to educate the public about the dos and don’ts of including the extra lightings at this time of year when the provision of electricity is on high demand.

Even when attempting to outshine the neighbourhood with strings of fairy bulbs, GPL notes that safety must always come first.

In a safety tips advisory, the company noted that while lighting is an absolutely important aspect for the festive season there are a number of considerations that must be given keen attention.

For instance, GPL is urging that consumers check for damaged sockets, plugs, and cords even before hanging holiday lights and replace any that appear defective. Complementing this action would be to ensure that all lights being used outdoors are rated for external use. Once placed outdoors efforts must be made to fastened lights securely to the exterior of buildings by using only insulated staples or plastic attachments to protect the lights from wind damage. Added to this, GPL warns, “Do not place lights at the base of electric poles or anywhere near your service line.”

In fact, the company in its safety tips has advised that persons can enhance existing lighting with mirrored ornaments and other reflective items instead of using an overwhelming amount of lights.

Consumers are also being cautioned to desist from using light-duty flat extension cords to power their lights and instead use heavy-gauge labelled round extension cords which are easily recognised by their orange or yellow colour. But according to GPL, even if you have purchased the best quality, “never run electrical cords under rugs or carpeting. Instead run them on the walls for safety but far away from curtains.”

Another common fault found around this time of year too that has been highlighted by the power company, is the fact that consumers sometimes fail to pay attention to wattage. Moreover, GPL cautions, “avoid overloading electrical circuits, never plug in more than three sets of lights to one extension cord.”

While lights undoubtedly help to enhance the atmosphere, consumers are being urged that it is important too, to, “unplug lights before you go to sleep or leave your premises.”


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