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Holiday gift ideas

Play Santa with holiday gifts that focus on safety. Instead of buying a random, last-minute gift, consider purchasing electrical safety gifts that say "I care you about you," all year long.

Six safety products to protect your home, family, and loved ones from electrical shocks and fire

Merry Christmas

  1. Ground fault circuit interrupters -- These devices should be professionally installed on outlets in wet areas of the home —kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and basement. GFCIs stop the flow of electricity to prevent shocks if there is a problem. When properly used, they save lives. It’s important to know how to test and re-set GFCIs. As a gift, you could get a portable GFCI for friends who enjoy working outdoors. Even if their home or exterior outlets do not have a GFCI, they can have the protection of a GFCI by using an extension cord.
  2. Heavy-duty extension cord – Often the tools or equipment necessary for larger projects are powered by extension cords that are inadequate for the heavier electrical load. Make sure the cord can handle the electric demands of your equipment.
  3. Power strip with built-in circuit breaker – Designed for safety, the built-in circuit breaker prevents overloading of the power strip. Overloaded power strips can cause fires and electric shocks. This device often comes with the added feature of surge protection/surge prevention.
  4. Smoke detector – Most homes could use more of these inexpensive safety devices. Since the primary job of a smoke detector is to awaken sleeping persons to warn them of fire danger, put a battery-operated detector in each sleeping room and place additional detector(s) in the hallway or area by the bedrooms within five feet of the door to these rooms. In a house with bedrooms upstairs, one additional detector should be placed near the top of the stairs to the bedroom area.
  5. Batteries for smoke detectors – This is a simple but important gift, one that reminds the recipient the importance of replacing batteries in smoke detectors twice a year. Fresh batteries save lives. Be sure to test smoke detectors regularly.
  6. Circuit breaker fault detector – This small hand-held device safely detects faults in the circuit breaker panel and eliminates the guesswork of which one has tripped.

Testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are recommended.

Be sure to read all manufacturer directions prior to installing or plugging in any electronic devices. Check and replace any electrical components that have worn, cracked or frayed cords and only use appliances in good condition.

Make sure your safety and that of your loved ones tops your list this holiday season. Remember, safe and happy memories will last a lifetime.

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