decorative lights

Electrical safety should be at the top of your wish list this holiday season

The Electrical Safety Authority offers important safety tips for Ontarians 

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO (November 20, 2019) – The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to begin the much-anticipated ritual of decking the halls. Whether it’s a giant twinkling snowman on the lawn and an eavestrough full of lights, or a classically lit tree, every year thousands of Ontarians purchase and install holiday decorations without thinking about electrical safety. 

“It’s a jolly and bright time of year, so many Ontarians simply don’t think of electrical hazards when putting up decorations for the holidays,” says Dr. Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Understanding and knowing the potential hazards before turning your home into a winter wonderland can prevent a fire or a shock. We want all Ontarians to enjoy this holiday season free from electrical harm.” 

To help avoid these risks, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has a few holiday safety tips to help prevent electrical-related incidents that have the potential to take your holiday decorating from nice to naughty. 

  • Make a list and check it twice, you should look for a recognized certification mark on your holiday decorations – this proves the product has been tested and meets safety standards – and inspect all cords for damage and fraying because a damaged one can give you a nasty shock; 
  • The weather outside may be frightful, so choose the right decoration for the job! Only use decorations and extensions cords certified for outdoor use. Always use an outlet protected by a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) to plug in outdoor decorations; 
  • You can never show too much holiday spirit, but you should avoid plugging too many lights and decorations into an outlet. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire; 
  • While you’re looking up to catch a snowflake, also make sure you look for overhead powerlines before setting up your ladder to hang outdoor lights and decorations; and 
  • Remember the cookies, but don’t forget to turn off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed. 

ESA’s holiday safety checklist, downloadable holiday décor shopping list, safe installation guide, list of approved product certification marks, and other important safety tips can be found at Holiday Safety

These resources are here to help Ontarians keep the holidays merry and bright, but most importantly, safe when celebrating this season.

About the Electrical Safety Authority

The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA’s) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an 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, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province.

More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found at, through and on Facebook at

Media Enquiries

For further information:
Electrical Safety Authority
905-712-7819 or