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With holiday cheer comes higher chance of electric shock

PHOENIX — As more people put the finishing touches on their holiday light displays, Arizona Public Service is reminding people of the dangers of electric shock.

Using two hotdogs to symbolize fingers or toe, APS crews demonstrated Friday the amount of electricity flowing through a downed power line.

The hotdogs didn’t boil or burn. They exploded.

Randy Boles with APS said electricity travels at the speed of light and assuming a wire is not energized could be the last assumption you ever make.

“By all means, keep yourself safe,” he said. “If there’s a downed wire stay away from it and call 911. Get the first responders out there to secure the area.”

Frayed wires on Christmas trees are always a concern and the tree needs to be kept watered. A bare wire could touch off a fire that burns as hot as 5,000 degrees in seconds.

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

Homeowners should turn off holiday lights when they’re away, inspect decorations for wear and consider switched to LED lights, which run much cooler than their traditional incandescent counterparts.