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Holiday decorating should be done with caution

By Tyler Berg
Published On: Dec 02 2013 11:17:04 PM CST

With Thanksgiving over, many people have already began to decorate their homes for Christmas, but the annual chore can get dangerous.

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho -

With Thanksgiving over, many people have already began to decorate their homes for Christmas, but the annual chore can get dangerous.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 12,500 people end up in the emergency room every year for injuries related to holiday decorating.

"You don't want to be Clark Griswold," said Tyler Washburn, the operations manager for Outback Landscape.

Outback Landscape and several other companies offer services to homeowners who don't feel comfortable enough, or simply don't have the time to hang lights on their homes.

"If you're not doing it day after day, you don't have the roof legs like somebody else does," said Washburn.

Although, Washburn suggests leaving the job to him, he said it's imperative homeowners understand the electrical side of things if they choose to decorate themselves.

"People do wiring backwards, they could get shocked or they could overload circuits in their house," said Washburn. "They could leave ends of wires open, and that gives you potential for fire," said Washburn.

Outback Landscape uses LED lights, which are much easier on circuits.

"Normally on incandescent lighting, you can get up to 50 or 60 bulbs and you're kind of maxing out your outlets," said Washburn. "With the LED you can get close to 700 or 800."

He said homeowners should keep an eye on the condition of wires and keep them away from power or feeder lines. Of course, he said don't push your luck on the roof either.

"If you're a homeowner, you don't want to be messed up for the holidays," said Washburn.

The CPSC suggests buying holiday lights that bear the mark of a recognized testing lab to show they meet safety standards.  

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