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Holiday decoration safety hinges on ladder use

A lot of people will spending this holiday weekend putting up their Christmas decorations.

Romey Romero of KTAR's "Rosey on the House" show says before you climb up to put your outside Christmas lights up, make sure your ladder is safe.

"58 hundred people every year in America end up in the hospital from hanging holiday decorations," Romero said. Most of the accidents happen on the ladder.

"You want to look for any color fading (on the ladder)," Romero said. "If you see the fiberglass itself, and not just a smooth coat of paint, that's a very good sign that it's a weakened ladder and it may be time to replace it."

As for the lights, you should inspect the strings to make sure they're not frayed or cracked. That could be a fire hazard.

After the season's over, Romero says you should make sure the lights are safely stored.

"Buy an extension cord spool to wind them up with at the end of the year," Romero said. "That way they (the strings of lights) don't end up in wads. You can spend a lot of time untangling wads."

He said that by buying the spool, you will have a much easier time putting the lights up next year because you won't be up on the ladder trying to untangle them.

Another good idea is to follow any manufacturer's instructions while you are putting up your lights at the beginning of the season, then taking them down after the holidays are over.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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