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Survivor of Holiday Lighting Accident Shares Life-Saving Safety Lessons

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815

Note: Additional audio soundbites and graphics available by calling 217.546.6815 or emailing info@safeelectricity.org

 

Survivor of Holiday Lighting Accident Shares Life-Saving Safety Lessons

(Springfield, Ill.)—Thanksgiving weekend for millions is when the boxes of lights come out and the decorating begins. Unfortunately, every year people are hurt in decorating accidents. The U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission reports that during the two months surrounding the holiday season, more than 14,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries related to holiday decorating.

Keep your holiday season safe and bright, and learn from the tragic experience of Shawn Miller who was helping his mother light her yard for the holidays.

“I was just hanging Christmas lights at my mom’s house like I do every year,” Miller said. “Only this time, I was decorating a new area—the trees that lined the front of the yard.” As he tossed lights up into the trees, 7200 volts of electricity entered his body, traveling from the overhead power lines through his strand of lights. He suffered 27 exit wounds and the loss of his left hand, among other injuries.

“Please take note of your surroundings before decorating outside,” Miller urges, “especially power lines and the service connection to your home. Make sure to keep yourself, ladders, and lights far away from them. I’m lucky to be alive. I want everyone to be careful—be aware of power lines.”

“Shawn Miller has a lot to teach us about electrical safety, and we are grateful he has shared his story,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program.

“Had I known more before this happened, I might still have two hands and the job I loved,” Miller said. “I want to help people learn from what has happened to me. Safe Electricity is helping me help others.”

Hall encourages people to visit www.SafeElectricity.org to see the video of Miller’s story, as well as a checklist of safety tips when decorating outdoors and inside.

Safe Electricity is the award-winning program of the Energy Education Council, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting electrical safety and that also provides information on energy efficiency and renewable resources. Energy Education Council members include more than 400 utilities in 26 states as well as energy-related organizations and educators.

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.