ORANGE, CT — December 6, 2021 — United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG) and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) wish customers a happy holiday season, and offer tips to ensure their celebrations are filled with safety, comfort and joy.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International and other industry groups, fires and injury-causing incidents increase during the holiday season as people decorate their homes, set their hearths alight and assemble feasts for family and friends. The companies also want to remind customers about winter energy efficiency tips for the holiday season into the new year.
“While we have been through so much over the past two years, the holiday season is always a time to reflect and appreciate what means the most to us: our families, friends, and loved ones,” said Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of UI, SCG and CNG, which are subsidiaries of Orange-based AVANGRID, Inc. “Let this holiday season find us in good health, as we deck the halls and gear up for a new year.”
The companies offered customers the following tips:
Decking the Halls
- Dry tree limbs and electric lighting can be a dangerous combination. Keep your live tree fresh and cut its base at a 45-degree angle before you put it in its base, so it can absorb more water. Give it water daily and remove it promptly after the holiday, or when it becomes dry.
- Consider LED decorative lights, which produce less heat and use less energy than traditional lights. The cooler-burning LEDs can reduce the drying effect on the tree. You can find LED lights and other energy-efficient appliances at uismartsolutions.com.
- Carefully inspect cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items. Look for the UL label on the packaging, showing that they’ve been factory tested.
- Push wires toward the center of the tree, out of reach of children and pets, and clip them securely to the branches.
- Keep flammable decorations away from the tree's lights. Also make sure that electric window candles do not touch drapes or other flammable objects.
- Run cords away from high-traffic areas to prevent tripping hazards. Never run cords under rugs since they can overheat.
- Never use electric lights on metallic trees. Avoid using plastic trees that are not flame-resistant.
- Turn off decorative lights before going to sleep and when you leave home. Consider using a programmable timer to control displays.
- Avoid overloading electrical circuits or extension cords. Follow the instructions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings and extension cords. If a cord feels hot to the touch, it is overloaded and can cause an electrical fire.
Around the House
- Plan escape routes for your family in case of a fire or other emergency.
- In the kitchen, keep close watch on your stovetop, grill, and oven while in use. Never use them for heating.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in every bedroom. Install a carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area. Test monthly, and replace batteries twice a year, when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
- If you use natural gas, learn the signs of a leak and what to do. To learn more, visit CNG or SCG.
- Before decorating outside your home, look up and around the area to identify overhead lines and other hazards. Keep yourself, ladders, and tools far away from overhead lines, as well as anything that might be in contact with them.
- Use only outdoor-approved lights that can withstand cold temperatures and inspect them for damage.
- Avoid piling leaves, snow or yard debris against utility meters or furnace vents, to ensure they operate properly and can be easily accessed.
Customers can monitor their holiday energy use and learn how to save during the holidays — and year-round — using the Energy Analyzer on the UI, SCG and CNG websites.
# # #
About UI: The United Illuminating Company (UI) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1899, UI operates approximately 3,600 miles of electric distribution lines and 138 miles of transmission lines. It serves approximately 341,000 customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. UI received the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award in 2019 and 2021. For more information, visit uinet.com.
About SCG: The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1847, SCG operates approximately 2,500 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines, serving approximately 206,000 customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. For more information, visit soconngas.com.
About CNG: Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1848, CNG operates approximately 2,200 miles of natural gas distribution pipeline, serving approximately 183,000 customers across 26 communities in the greater Hartford-New Britain area, and Greenwich, Connecticut. For more information, visit cngcorp.com.
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $39 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 7,000 people and has been recognized by Forbes and Just Capital as one of the 2021 JUST 100 companies - a list of America's best corporate citizens - and was ranked number one within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment and the communities it serves. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2021 for the third consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit avangrid.com.
Learn about the Iberdrola Group’s global pandemic response at its COVID-19 Hub.