APS warns public of dangers of holiday decorations

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

With the holiday season in full swing, officials with the Arizona Public Service want to remind folks about the safety of holiday decorations. 

On Monday, APS demonstrated what can happen if people come into contact with electricity.

Officials said that this is an especially dangerous hazard around the holidays when so many are putting up decorations. 

According to a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 12,000 people go to the hospital each year due to electrical contact involving holiday decorations.

APS officials say these following steps will help people prevent injury and promote safety during the holiday season: 

  • Turn off holiday lights before going to sleep or leaving the house unattended.
  • When stringing lights outside, use a dry wooden or fiberglass ladder – and be sure to stay away from overhead power lines.
  • Avoid stringing any outdoor lighting or electrical cords where water from irrigation or sprinklers may be present. Ensure cords are not frayed or damaged.
  • 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 (light-emitting diode) holiday lights, which run much cooler than their traditional counterparts, are less of a fire risk and use much less energy.
  • If using a live Christmas tree, make sure to check the water level in the tree stand daily. If the tree appears to be losing a large number of needles, or if the needles become brittle, do not turn on any electrical lights used for decorations. The heat from the lights could cause a fire.

For more information on holiday decoration safety, visit APS.com

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