PHOENIX – A festive display of lights and decorations can add to the holiday cheer, but without safety steps, it can also send you to the emergency room. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 160 decorating-related injuries every day during the holiday season. Almost half of the incidents involve falls from ladders. And inside there are more than 1,000 candle-related fires each season and hundreds of fires started with Christmas trees.
APS offers these safety tips to avoid holiday decorating dangers:
- When stringing lights outside, use a wooden or fiberglass ladder, and be sure to stay away from overhead power lines. Only use your ladder on level ground. Don’t use the top rung and don’t lean away to hang decorations.
- Avoid stringing any outdoor lighting or electrical cords where water from irrigation or sprinklers may be present.
- Check for labels showing the lights have been certified for outdoor use. Discard light sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections.
- Use more than one circuit to avoid overloading household wiring. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the number of light strings that can be connected safely.
- Consider using LED holiday lights, which run much cooler than their traditional counterparts, are less of a fire risk and use much less energy.
- Turn off holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
It’s also important to stay safe inside the house:
- If using a live holiday tree, make sure to add water often to the tree stand. If the tree is losing a lot of needles or the needles become brittle, do not turn on decorative electrical lights. The heat from the lights could cause a fire.
- Place burning candles away from flammable items and blow them out when leaving the room.
For more ways to stay safe around electricity, visit aps.com/safety.