Opinion

APS: 8 life-saving safety tips for decorating the holidays

Posted 12/7/21

With the Thanksgiving gatherings concluded and the leftovers long-since eaten, many of us are starting to put up holiday decorations for the holiday season. And we’re fortunate that here in the Valley, there’s a pretty good chance the weather will be perfect while you string the lights.

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Opinion

APS: 8 life-saving safety tips for decorating the holidays

Posted

With the Thanksgiving gatherings concluded and the leftovers long-since eaten, many of us are starting to put up holiday decorations for the holiday season.

And we’re fortunate that here in the Valley, there’s a pretty good chance the weather will be perfect while you string the lights.

In order to keep the season merry and bright, it’s important to be aware of holiday safety hazards. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 decorating-related injuries occur each day during November and December, sending thousands of people to the emergency room.

At Arizona Public Service, taking appropriate safety measures is a year-round endeavor, and we offer these tips before you deck the halls:

  1. When stringing lights outside, use a dry 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.
  2. Avoid stringing any outdoor lighting or electrical cords where water from irrigation or sprinklers may be present.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Consider using LED holiday lights, which run much cooler than their traditional counterparts, and are less of a fire risk and use much less energy.
  6. Turn off holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
  7. If using a live tree, make sure to check and 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.
  8. Test smoke alarms monthly and change batteries every year. CPSC recommends having working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and in every bedroom.

A little planning can prevent mishaps and help you and your family enjoy festive displays all season long.

Happy holidays and be safe.

Editor's note: Anna Stewart is public affairs manager at APS.

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