Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., Energy + Inc., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc. and Waterloo North Hydro Inc. want to help ensure customers have a cheerful – and safe – holiday season.
Holiday lights and decorations make our homes merry and bright during the festive season, but care should be taken to ensure the season is a safe one. Your local electric utility has tips to ensure you stay safe this holiday season.
Tips for decorating safely indoors
1. Overloaded electrical outlets are a fire hazard. Plug decorations into a power bar instead.
2. Consider switching to LED lights and decorations, which are cooler to the touch and use less power, saving energy and cost.
3. Keep your live tree watered and do not let it dry out as it can become a fire hazard.
- Check light strands for frayed wires or cracks, and discard and replace any damaged strands and do not string more than three sets of incandescent lights together.
5. Keep cords tucked out of high-traffic areas and do not run them under carpets or doors where they can fray and become a fire hazard.
6. Be sure to unplug or turn off lights and decorations before you go out or go to bed.
Tips for decorating safely outdoors
7. Before hanging holiday lights, look up and around for overhead powerlines, and keep tools and yourself far away. Do not use poles to hang lights near powerlines.
8. Plug outdoor decorations into a ground fault circuit interrupter to avoid electric shock.
9. Use plastic clips to hang outdoor holiday lights. Never use staples, nails or tacks.
10. Be sure to use decorations as they are intended. Only use extension cords, timers, lights, and decorations rated for outdoor use outdoors, and decorations rated for indoor use indoors.
In addition, ensure that any lights and decorations are marked with a recognized safety certification such as Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Decorations purchased online may not meet these standards and could be a hazard.