Alliant/Interstate Offer Savings and Safety Tips - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alliant/Interstate Offer Savings and Safety Tips


When it comes to safety, Interstate Power and Light, an Allliant Energy company, is urging customers to use common sense when putting up holiday lights. Interstate reminds Iowans to follow all electrical safety rules and consider efficiency in their holiday home decorating.

Alliant/Interstate has some great tips for us all this holiday season.

Electrical injuries and home tragedies can often be prevented. Alliant Energy suggests the following dos and don'ts to help keep the holidays happy and safe.

The right way

  • Do check for cracked or loose sockets and connections, exposed wires, and frayed, broken or scorched insulation before plugging in any lights - old or new. Then put the lights on a nonflammable surface and plug them in for 10-15 minutes to check for melting, smoking or overheating. Throw away any strings showing flaws.
  • Do make sure your lights are safety certified. Look for a label that says "Underwriters Laboratories Approved" or "UL Listed."
  • Do protect small children and pets by using plastic safety covers on all unused outlets and keeping cords out of sight and reach. A cord as short as 12 inches can strangle a child.
  • Do water your "real" Christmas tree every day, and keep light strings from coming into direct contact with branches. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it's fire retardant.
  • Do make sure the lights and extension cords you use outside are certified for outdoor use and are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (if available).
  • Do keep decorations and ladders away from overhead electrical lights and power lines.
  • Do follow the manufacturer's guidelines on how many strings of lights can be safely connected together.

The wrong way

  • Don't leave lights on while you're sleeping or away from home. If you tend to forget, use a timer.
  • Don't plug more than three light strings into an extension cord.
  • Don't use metal staples or nails as fasteners for lights. This can damage the protective insulation covering the wires.
  • Don't leave extension cords out in the open and/or at levels where small children or pets can come in contact with or chew on them.
  • Don't run extension cords across sidewalks or driveways.


When selecting your holiday decorating lights, you can save money by choosing wisely.


Alliant Energy is offering a $5 cash reward on the purchase of ENERGY STAR® qualified LED light strings. Save money when you buy the lights, and save when you use them: LED light strings use 75% less energy than your traditional strand of lights.


LED holiday lights have been on the market several years and the number of colors and options continue to expand. While sets cost more to buy, they use far less energy and are designed to last up to 10 times longer than traditional light strings, so won't need to be replaced every year. The lights come with a three-year warranty and are more durable and perform well in cold weather.  


The $5 cash reward from Alliant Energy is available for purchases made between October 1 and December 25, 2009. The reward is open to Alliant Energy residential electric customers in Iowa. Download a copy of the Cash Reward from at or call 1-866-ALLIANT (1-866-255-4268).


For more information about energy efficiency and electrical safety, visit or

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele

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