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Plug in to Halloween; Con Edison Offers Safety Tips

NEW YORK, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) advises customers to use caution when installing electric devices in preparation for Halloween. As decorations for this celebration are becoming more elaborate, the company recommends basic rules to keep families safe.

The National Retail Federation estimates that this year's Halloween spending in the United States will reach $3.12 billion. Its survey also estimates that 49 percent of consumers plan to decorate their homes and/or yards. With Halloween electric props ranging from pumpkin-shaped lights to full-size animated figures, Con Edison urges customers to use common sense and follow these basic safety tips:

  • Make sure that Halloween lights carry the seal of approval of a recognized safety-testing laboratory, such as "UL" and "FM."
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions when installing lights or assembling displays.
  • Prior to re-using electric devices that you have kept in storage, inspect for worn or frayed areas, breaks or brittleness, particularly at the plugs and connections. Replace defective lights and cords.
  • To avoid electric overloads, use extension cords sparingly; don't use a multi-armed plug to connect strings of lamps to a single household wiring circuit.
  • Use only exterior-rated extension cords when connecting outdoor displays, including fixtures, cords and bulbs.
  • Avoid running cords under rugs, through doorways, or near furniture where they may be stepped on, tripped over, frayed or broken.
  • 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 or other electric displays or leave them on without the supervision of a responsible adult.
  • Install or adjust outdoor electric displays only during dry weather and be certain the devices are turned off before they're installed.
  • Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with $10 billion in annual revenues and $22 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison's Web site at

    SOURCE Con Edison -0- 10/14/2004 /CONTACT: Brenda Perez, +1-212-460-4111, for Con Edison / /Web site: / (ED)

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