Holiday Home Safety
Holidays can be busy and joyous times but holiday decorations and new toys can bring risks along with festive cheer. Stay safe by knowing how to manage the health or safety hazards of holiday items you bring into your home. Minimize your risks by following the safety tips on this page.
- Use lights that have the mark of an accredited certification agency such as CSA, cUL or cETL. Check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database before buying or using lights to find out about the latest recalls.
- Choose the right light for the job: light strings and other decorations are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Ensure that indoor lights and decorations are only used inside. Read the package instructions and do not exceed the recommended wattage.
- Check all light bulbs before you put them up. Replace broken or burned-out bulbs with those recommended by the manufacturer.
- Check the light strings and extension cords you use, discarding any that are frayed or have exposed wires, loose connections or broken light sockets.
- Never run electrical cords and extension cords through or across doorways where they may be pinched or trip someone, or under carpets where they can be damaged or overheat.
- Avoid plugging too many lights and decorations into an outlet. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire.
- Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlets when plugging in outdoors.
- Turn off all holiday lights before you go to bed or leave your home.
- Keep ‘bubble lights’ away from children — they contain a hazardous chemical that may cause irritation or burns if the bulb breaks.
- Choose tinsel, artificial icicles and other trimmings made of plastic or non-leaded metals. Don’t let children put decorations in their mouths, as some may be harmful to their health.