Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety

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The festive season is fast approaching and Ontario residents will soon be busy decorating their homes for the holidays. When starting your holiday décor shopping for lighting, decorations or gifts, keep electrical safety in mind by using this checklist.

10 Tips to help you deck the halls safely this holiday season:

Outdoors:  
look up watch out for powerlines Look up and watch out for powerlines when hanging your outdoor lights. Remember to always carry your ladder horizontally and keep your body and tools at least 3 meters away to avoid contact with power lines. Do not use poles to hang lights near powerlines.
 gfci plug Plug outdoor decorations into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) with a cover to avoid electric shock.
hanging clips   Use proper clips to hang outdoor holiday lights. Never use staples, nails or tacks; they could damage cords.
 outdoor power cord Only use extension cords, lights and decorations outdoors that are designated for outdoor use. Read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage.
  Keep connections above ground and out of puddles; don't run them across driveways or walkways.
Indoors:  
 outlet overload Only your tree should have branches, not your outlets. Do not overload outlets to avoid an electrical fire; plug decorations into a power bar instead.
 leds holiday lights Consider switching to LED lights and decorations, which are cooler to the touch and use less power.
 fire hazard Watch out for frayed or old cords, and discard any damaged strands. Do not run cords under rugs or carpets. Don't place flammable materials close to lights. These are all fire hazards.
  No more than three light strings can be safely connected together in most cases; read manufacturers' instructions for directions.  
 discount lights Be careful when buying your decoration lights. Make sure they have recognized safety certifications such as CSA or UL.

Visit the Electrical Safety Authority website for more tips.

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