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Tips and Information

Home Safety Tips

The following are some basic safety tips to follow when using electrical or decorative items in your home.


Electrical Cords and Outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for short durations.  Please refer to our page dealing with the maximum number of light strings to ensure that you do not overload any circuit. 
  • Always inspect all electrical strings or extension cords before using. Make sure they are approved by a reputable certification agency such as CSA or UL.  Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire. Always discard any defective cords. Ensure to always read the labels and manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper usage.
  • Make sure to always insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use and do not run it under carpets or rugs.  Never nail or staple an extension cord through the actual cord wiring.  Always ensure that the nail or staple passes outside the cord without damaging any part of the wiring. 
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Lights

  • Always use certified light strings/sets approved by a reputable certification agency such as CSA or UL.
  • Take care to use the proper lights for the location/environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections.  
  • Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.
  • If your lights are not on a timer, always turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.
  • When purchasing new light strings/sets, you should attempt to keep the original product packaging as well as your sales receipt (simply put it inside the packaging for easy reference).  This will ensure that in future seasons of use you will always have the information pertinent to your light string/set as well as allow you to return defective product should there be a need.
  • Most seasonal lighting is not destined for permanent year-round installations.  Always ensure to verify this information on the product packaging as permanent installations can cause damage to your products which may invalidate any warranties.
  • Always ensure to use the correct replacement bulbs for your light string/set.
  • Always store light strings/set in a cool/dry place as excessive heat or humidity could adversely affect the wiring and connections of your lights.     
     
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Candles

  • Always ensure that candles are in a sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holder and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Always ensure that candles are placed on a level surface.
  • Always ensure that any damageable surface on which you are placing a candle is protected from heat or dripping wax.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Never allow children to light candles.
  • Keep all materials used to light candles such as matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Never put candles on or near Christmas trees or any other flammable material such as curtains etc.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Never leave the house or go to sleep with candles burning.
  • Always extinguish candles after use. Allow any molten wax to cool before moving the candle.
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Christmas Trees

  • Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should never block doors or windows which might be needed as emergency exits in the event of a fire.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree.
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Decorations

  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations. In addition, keep all breakable ornaments such as glass balls off of lower hanging branches that may be in reach of small children or pets.
  • Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible.
  • Do not use metallic ornaments on an tree. If they make contact with defective wiring in light strings, they could pose a shock hazard.
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Sources: Our tips were compiled using some information found on the following web sites.
Health Canada
Canada Safety Council
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
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