Holiday Safety

12/09/2013 3:20 pm0 commentsViews: 13

City Hall Christmas-0002
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – As families prepare for the holidays, Southern
California Edison today reminded people to use common-sense precautions with
decorative lights to prevent shocks and fire hazards.
“The joy that festive decorations bring can lead people to overlook
their potential dangers,” said Bill Messner, the utility’s health and safety
manager. “It is vital that families follow instructions, inspect decorations
and practice safety to minimize the risk of electric shock, fires or
Firefighters nationwide respond to an average of 230 home fires annually
that start with Christmas trees, resulting in an average of six deaths, 22
injuries and $18.3 million in property damage, according to the National Fire
Protection Association.
About 5,800 people are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for
falls associated with holiday decorations, with more than half of them falling
from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors, the fire association said.
SCE recommended these safety tips for the holidays:
– never place lights closer than 10 feet from outdoor power lines, and
always be aware of the power lines;
– use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors because
metal ladders conduct electricity;
– always inspect your ladder to ensure it is safe;
– be sure that electrical cords are not plugged in an angle or a
positioned where they can be pinched, such as in windows;
– use zip cords instead of metal staples, tack or nails to hang lights;
– use no more than three strands of lights per extension cord because
overloads can cause fires or lines to short-circuit;
– keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other
flammable materials;
– use decorations bearing the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian
Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL) labels; and
– always unplug decorative lights when leaving home or before going to
More safety tips are available at


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