For the 2021 festive season:
- Last year, call outs for electrical incidents involving Christmas lights fell by 24%, compared to the same period in 2019. This was due to greater awareness among the population of the risk of electrical hazards and was helped by festive safety campaigns such as that of Enel.
Santiago, December 7, 2021 - Enel Distribución kicked off its traditional "Safe Christmas 2021" campaign with a real-life demonstration that illustrated the potential risks of improper handling of Christmas lights and electric-powered decorations. The company also provided a number of recommendations on how to avoid such mishaps during the holiday season.
In December 2020, Enel Distribución received 166 call outs to deal with electrical overload accidents, which often started fires. This marked a drop of 24% compared to the same period of 2019, showing that there was greater awareness of the risks of inappropriate handling of electric Christmas decorations.
"For a long time, we have been giving families tips about how to take the necessary precautions when decorating their homes at Christmas so as to avoid accidents from occurring. Although the numbers have improved compared to last year, we still reiterate the need to be careful in order to enjoy the holidays safely. If you use non-certified products or don't have experience in setting up lighting and using safety equipment this can increase the risk of being electrocuted or starting a fire. It can also jeopardize the electricity supply for the surrounding community," said Ramón Castañeda, CEO of Enel Distribución.
Deputy energy minister Francisco López said, "at the Energy Ministry, we want families to celebrate the end-of-year holidays as safely as possible, so that nothing tarnishes these special moments of happiness and joy. For this reason, we are appealing to everyone to take precautions to prevent electrical accidents by purchasing lights and garlands that are certified by the SEC, which guarantees that the item complies with current safety standards."
The "Safe Christmas" campaign aims to provide the population with the information needed to reduce the chance of electrical mishaps, the risk of electrocution and fires in the home. These sorts of incidents are often caused by putting up Christmas arrangements and using sockets, triple socket adapters, extension cables, light bulbs and garlands, without taking the necessary safety precautions.
By using uncertified Christmas decorations - both inside and outside the home – besides running the risk of being electrocuted or starting fires, you can also jeopardize the community's electricity supply if you try to hang garlands on electricity poles and power lines.
- Purchase lights that are certified by the Electricity and Fuels Regulator (SEC). By doing so, you will light up your Christmas tree using a safe product, and not run the risk of overheating or causing electrical problems that could lead to serious accidents.
- Buy garlands that have a thick cable; garlands with thin cables are prone to break, crack or melt due to the electric current. If you use the same ones as last year, make sure that the cables are neither broken nor do they have any cracks. If this is the case, do not use them.
- Do not overload electrical outlets in the home with an excessive amount of Christmas decorations. This will help avoid the overheating of cables, Christmas tree lights and other festive lights.
- Avoid decorating trees in outdoor gardens, since these areas are usually watered and retain moisture, which increases the likelihood of electrocution.
- Be careful when using and installing extension cables and extension adapters. Not only do you run the risk of overloading circuits but children and pets can also get entangled in the cables and get electrocuted.
More tips and information can be found HERE.