Help Make Holiday Decorating Merry, Not Scary

Use safety tips from CSA Group to Keep the Holidays Cheerful

It’s time to light up the street! That winter feeling is in the air, and people are getting into the holiday spirit by decorating their homes, putting up the tree, setting up animated displays and stringing indoor and outdoor lights.

These colourful decorations and lighting brighten up the holidays, but while outfitting your home with festive cheer, be sure to keep safety in mind.

CSA Group, a leading testing and certification organization, would like the remind everyone to consider these safety tips for a worry-free winter wonderland:

Dazzle them, safely – Design a spectacular lighting display that will make the neighbours jealous! But before working with outdoor wiring, be sure to turn off the electricity to the supply outlet and unplug the connection to avoid potential shock or fire hazards. Keep in mind when hanging lights outdoors to keep electrical connectors above ground, out of puddles and snow, and away from metal eavestroughs. Make sure outdoor decorations are marked and certified for outside use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make it sparkle, not spark – Before you plug them in, carefully inspect old lights to make sure there are no cracks or frayed cords and discard any with obvious damage. Don’t overload extension cords by using too many electronics. Use heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations and large electronically-animated displays. And make sure your house is capable of handling the electrical load of multiple lights. If in doubt, contact a licensed professional to inspect your electrical system.

Be merry and bright – Buy flame-resistant decorations and never place open flames or candles near flammable materials, such as wreathes, trees or paper decorations. Never nail or tack lighting strings to a wall as this may damage insulation and create a shock or fire hazard. Instead, use insulated fasteners to hold light strings in place, rather than metal nails or tacks that could damage wiring.

Keep the home fires burning – Besides their decorative qualities, gas fireplaces are a great place to curl up in front of to warm your toes. To avoid hazards, be sure to inspect the fireplace before each use and have a qualified professional serviceperson check it annually. Always have a working carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm.

Mark it – Avoid deals that are too good to be true. When purchasing light strings, extension cords and electrical decorations, look for the certification mark of an accredited organization such as CSA Group. Certification marks provide assurance that the products have been tested to specific standards for safety and performance.

For more tips and consumer information, including a video on holiday safety, visit www.csagroup.org/consumers/safety-tips.

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.


Allison Hawkins
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


November 30, 2015