Have yourself a safe Christmas

Have you checked to make sure your Christmas decorations are safe?

The BC Safety Authority is reminding British Columbians to avoid potential accidents by making sure Christmas decorations are in good working order, and being used as intended, according to manufacturer’s specifications.

“Aged or worn out Christmas lighting and displays are subjected to cold and wet winter conditions as well as UV from the sun. This can have a deteriorating effect on the lighting,” said Michael Pilato, BCSA Senior Safety Officer

“Lighting should be looked at each year to make sure it is in good working order.”

Any lighting with cracked receptacles or frayed or loose wiring should be discarded the BCSA warns.

Recommendations they have to keep the season happy as well as bright:

• Ensure your lights have Canadian safety approval certification.

• Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing and using electrical decorations.

• Consider switching to energy efficient LED lights – they produce less heat, which reduces the risk of fire.

• Use the right cord for the location – indoor and outdoor cords are different.

• Outdoor receptacles within 2.5 meters of grade require a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle.

• Never run cords under rugs where people will walk over them or through doorways or windows where they may get pinched – breakage of pinched wires can cause a fire.

• Never use staples or nails to attach cords to walls or roofs.

• Make sure cords can handle the amperage indicated on your electrical devices, and avoid multi-outlet adaptor connections which can overload your outlet.

• Outdoor lights left up year-round will likely need to be replaced.

• Keep lights out of the reach of small children.

For additional information about electrical safety, visit BCSA’s website at safetyauthority.ca