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Electrical Safety Authority offers important safety tips for Ontarians this holiday season

MISSISSAUGA, ON (November 23, 2020) – As the holiday season approaches and online shopping is growing in popularity, ESA is advising Ontarians to take the necessary electrical precautions when getting their house in the holiday spirit.

“This year more than ever, people will be buying decorations online to help ensure the holidays are just as bright and jolly as in previous years, meaning we have to be extra diligent when we’re doing our shopping. It’s very important to factor in the electrical hazards that may arise with buying and fitting decorations,” says Dr. Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Getting ahead of potential electrical dangers can prevent fires, not just for your home, but surrounding homes too. We want all Ontarians to remember to protect themselves and their families from electrical hazards and think of safety first to ensure they have an enjoyable harm-free holiday season.”

To guarantee we have a safe holiday season, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has a few safety tips to help prevent electrical-related incidents: 

  • Deck the halls but remember holiday decorations aren’t designed for year-round use and can deteriorate over time. Be sure to take them down when the holidays are over. 
  • Three is the magic number, so make sure no more than three light strings can be safely connected in most cases— read manufacturers’ instructions for directions.
  • When rocking around the Christmas tree remember to use the correct clips for securing lights and decorations. Staples and nails can damage electrical cords and cause injury if you get caught in the cords. 
  • 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.
  • Inspect all cords for damage and fraying because a damaged one can give you a nasty shock.
  • Oh, you better watch out! Lights and extension cords are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Make sure you read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage.
  • While you’re shopping around the clock online this year, there may be an increased risk for unapproved or unsafe products being sold in Ontario. Be sure to always check for a recognized certification mark. This is how you know the product is safe to use.
  • Make sure you look up and look out for overhead powerlines before setting up your ladder or using high reach tools such as extension pools to hang outdoor lights and decorations. You don’t have to make direct contact with a powerline to receive a shock. Electricity can jump or arc to you or your tools, so stay at least 3 metres back; and 
  • Remember to turn off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed. 

If you suspect something wrong or unsafe with your seasonal electrical consumer product, you should immediately stop using it and contact Health Canada Consumer Products.

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 on hand to help Ontarians keep the holidays festive and merry, but most importantly safe. Don’t forget to look for the certification mark when buying electrical decorations this holiday 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

As the holiday season approaches and online shopping is growing in popularity, ESA is advising Ontarians to take the necessary electrical precautions when getting their house in the holiday spirit.

Media Enquiries

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