APS encourages safety this holiday season

Light up your home safely for the holidays.

Stock photo

Light up your home safely for the holidays.

PHOENIX — Food, friends and family are what most people associate with the holidays. While the holidays are a festive time to enjoy those nearest and dearest, between the driving, decorating and cooking, it also can be a time when people are more prone to accidents.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 12,000 people go to the emergency room each year from holiday-related incidents, including electrical contact involving lights and decorations.

To prevent injury and promote safely enjoying the holiday season, APS offers the following tips:

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 amount 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.

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