Colourful Christmas Lights Make the Season Brighter

Colourful Christmas lights at the Fort William First Nation just south of Thunder Bay
Colourful Christmas lights at the Fort William First Nation just south of Thunder Bay
Colourful Christmas lights at the Fort William First Nation just south of Thunder Bay
Colourful Christmas lights at the Fort William First Nation just south of Thunder Bay

Bright Christmas Holiday Lights Make For Smiles

THUNDER BAY – By now many neighbourhoods across Northwestern Ontario communities are lighting up with colourful displays of lights. The lights make the long nights just a bit brighter, and add some special cheer to the season. One of the keys to a great holiday season is to make sure that your lights are safe. The CSA Group says, “It’s time to deck the halls! Once again, across the country, people are getting into the holiday spirit by adorning their homes with festive décor, decorating the tree, putting up those animated displays and stringing indoor and outdoor lights”.

These colourful decorations and lighting add sparkle to the holidays, but while outfitting your home with ornaments, be sure to keep safety precautions top-of-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:

Inspire awe, 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.

Create dazzle, not sparks – 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 bright when you light – 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.

Stay cozy – 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.

Don’t be fooled – 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.

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