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Tips for Decorating Safely During the Holidays

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Tips for Decorating Safely During the Holidays

Ontario Government Helping Families Avoid Electrical Hazards

Ministry of Consumer Services

The Ontario government is providing important electrical safety tips for buying and installing holiday lights and decorations.

To help avoid injuries and electrical fires this holiday season:

  • Check for frayed or damaged electrical cords, light strings and extension cords.
  • Always buy electrical products that have a recognized certification mark like "CSA" -- from the Canadian Standards Association -- on the package.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets with plugs and extension cords.
  • Make sure you hang lights where they are meant to be -- hang outdoor lights outside and indoor lights inside.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions before installing holiday lights and decorations.
  • Stay clear of power lines when decorating outdoors.
  • Turn your holiday lights off before going to bed or leaving the house. Saving money on hydro bills means more gifts for your loved ones.
  • Remove lights as soon as you can after the holiday season -- they are not designed for year-round use.

Protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government's plan to ensure a fair marketplace and help people in their everyday lives. This is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Misuse of electrical products and unapproved or counterfeit products cause more than 900 fires and an average of six deaths each year.
  • The Ontario Fire Marshal estimates that electrical fires during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons caused $1.6 million worth of damages to households in the province

Additional Resources


“While we all enjoy holiday lights, we sometimes forget about the potential electrical dangers that can go with them. I encourage everyone to follow these tips to keep their homes, families and pets safe throughout the holidays.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister of Consumer Services

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