holiday lights and gfci

Electrical Safety Authority shares tips for staying safe this holiday season

Holiday glow or safety woe? Survey reveals Ontarians plan to decorate their homes this festive season, but without heeding safety measures.

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO (November 22, 2023) — The holiday season is fast approaching and homes across Ontario are decking their halls with electrical décor. According to a new survey from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), half (49 per cent) of Ontarians are planning to decorate for a holiday this year or next, yet nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) did not check for a certification mark last time they purchased electrical décor.

The survey found those under the age of 55 are more likely to say they never check or think about decoration safety. 

To help Ontarians stay safe during the holiday season, ESA has launched a multi-channel campaign to provide homeowners with safety guidelines when purchasing holiday décor products and putting up inflatables and other electrical embellishments.

“Decorating with electrical lights and other plug-in decorations is a wonderful way to celebrate the season, but these products can also become serious electrical hazards,” said Patience Cathcart, Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Taking necessary precautions like purchasing lights with proper certification marks on packaging helps keep you and your loved ones safe."

Here are a few tips for safe holiday decorating: 

  • Make a list: Buy electrical décor with a recognized Canadian certification mark on the package. Read the package instructions to make sure you're using the right product for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Check it twice: Every year, check your décor to make sure the cords aren’t aging, fraying or damaged. Avoid running extension cords under carpets and across walkways as this can damage the cords and lead to a shock or fire. Make sure outdoor decorations and electrical cords are approved for outdoor use.  
  • Be merry and bright, but not all night: Do not forget to turn off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed. Even better, consider getting a timer for both indoor and outdoor lights.

You can find more holiday safety tips at

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