Helpful seasonal tips mean less holiday humbug

CSA International helps happy, healthy holiday homes happen

TORONTO, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - With the holidays just around the corner, CSA International is reminding everyone to take a moment to think about safety. With endless celebrating, shopping and decorating, people often overlook simple safety precautions. Festive lights, decorations and even gifts meant to be fun and joyful can also be dangerous and unsafe when not used properly or when not up to applicable manufacturing standards.

As they try to stretch their budgets, holiday shoppers are sometimes attracted to lower discount-store prices. It's important to not let unsafe, untested, and uncertified counterfeit products end up under the tree.

The following tips from CSA International are designed to provide everyone a happy, healthy holiday season.

    Avoid counterfeits by picking the nice over the naughty

    -   Avoid electrical products that are missing a certification mark from
        an accredited certification organization, such as CSA International.
        When products don't include brand identifiers or trademarks, return
        addresses, or company contact information, they may be fakes.
    -   A counterfeit product often has packaging with an inferior design or
        partial illustrations. Look for misspellings and unclear print on
        products and labels. Check the heaviness and the "look and feel" of
        products. Fakes are often light and flimsy.
    -   If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of
        extra low bargains on electronics.

    Keep the festive season bright and safe

    -   Inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed
        cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.
    -   Never tack or staple lighting strings or extension cords to any
        surface. Use insulated fasteners such as tape or plastic clips rather
        than nails or tacks to hold lights in place.
    -   Never run electrical cords through doorways or under carpets and
    -   Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the home or office
        unattended or when going to bed.
    -   Do not use open flames or candles on or near flammable materials such
        as wreaths, trees or paper decorations.
    -   Avoid hanging decorations on or near objects like fire sprinklers,
        fire extinguishers, exit corridors or exit signs which can hinder
        one's vision or safety.
    -   Before working with outdoor wiring, turn off the electricity to the
        supply outlet and unplug the connection.
    -   Ensure that light strings, cords, spotlights and floodlights are
        certified and marked for outdoor use.
    -   When hanging lights outdoors, keep electrical connectors above
        ground, out of puddles or snow and away from metal gutters.
    -   Remove lights promptly after the holidays to avoid damage caused by
        extended exposure to harsh weather conditions.
    -   Use a certified timer to switch lights on and off.

    Warm and cozy around the home

    -   Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked
        or broken. Glass panels and frame assemblies should be replaced only
        by a qualified service professional. When purchasing or installing a
        gas fireplace, check for the mark of an accredited certification
        organization, such as the Flame mark from CSA International.
    -   Install at least one carbon-monoxide (CO) alarm near bedrooms. Use
        more than one CO alarm if sleeping areas are located on different
        levels of your home and follow the manufacturer's instructions for
        installing and maintaining your alarms. When purchasing a CO alarm,
        check for the mark of an accredited certification organization such
        as the certification Flame and CSA 6.19-01 reference mark from CSA
    -   Test your smoke alarms monthly. One smoke alarm is not enough;
        install them on every level of your home and outside all sleeping
        areas. Only working smoke alarms can give you the precious seconds
        you may need to escape a fire.
    -   Do not store combustible materials such as holiday wrapping paper,
        decorations, gasoline, propane, chemicals, paint, rags and cleaning
        products near your gas furnace. Look for the familiar CSA
        International certification Flame mark on your gas-fired furnace or
        water heater to ensure it has been tested and certified to the
        applicable standard.

Holiday Video

To see and share a fun animated video for the holidays from CSA International, visit:

For holiday family safety tips, visit:

About CSA International

CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA, a leading solutions based standards organization, providing standards development, application products, training and advisory services; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information, visit


For further information: For further information: Anthony Toderian, Manager, Media Relations, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E:; Amy Clark, Environics for CSA Group, T: (416) 969-2758, E:

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