Tips for Safe Installation of Holiday Lights & Decorations from the Electrical Safety Authority
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The festive season is fast approaching and Ontario residents are busy decorating their homes for the holidays. When buying and installing holiday lighting and decorations, protect yourself and your family with these electrical safety tips from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).
As you start to decorate:
- Replace damaged electrical products including cords, lights and decorations.
- Ensure that no more than 3 light strings are safely connected together and check the manufacturer's instructions for specific directions.
- Never remove the third-prong from any electrical product - this is a "grounding pin" that works to prevent electric shock in the event of electrical equipment failure.
- Avoid overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords as this can create overheating that could result in a fire. Fuses that frequently blow, or circuits that trip often, can be a sign of overloading.
- Plug outdoor decorations into receptacles that are protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) - these are designed to cut off the flow of electricity to avoid shock hazards if a ground fault occurs. Portable GFCIs are recommended for outdoor decorating.
- Look up. Check for overhead powerlines when using a ladder to install lights or decorations on roofs or in trees.
Throughout the joyous season:
- Before turning in for bed and when leaving the house, turn off or unplug holiday lights and electrical decorations.
- Remove lights and decorations when the holidays are over and store them until next year so they remain in safe working order. These decorations are not designed for year-round use and can deteriorate over time.
When buying new electrical holiday decorations ensure they are:
- Rated for the installation you are planning - decorations are designed for either indoor or outdoor use.
- Approved for use in Ontario and bear the mark of an accredited certification agency. Please click here to view a complete list of all acceptable certification marks in Ontario. ESA encourages consumers to purchase decorations from reputable well established retail outlets.
Stay safe and enjoy the warmth and glitter of festive decorations this season. For more holiday safety tips please visit esasafe.com.
The Electrical Safety Authority
The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As a delegated administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electrical distribution system safety, and electrical products safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province to educate, train, promote, and foster electrical safety.
SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority
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