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Guelph Hydro Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Web posted on November 25, 2012

(Guelph, ON) November 13, 2012 –Guelph Hydro reminds customers to keep electricity safety in mind when decorating for the holidays.

"Last year there was a fatality in Guelph of someone who was installing holiday lights," says Kazi Marouf, Chief Operating Officer of Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. "This was a tragic reminder of how important it is for homeowners and businesses to be aware of the dangers associated with installing lights and other seasonal decorations on roofs, eaves troughs, and trees at this time of year."

Guelph Hydro offers the following tips to help customers avoid the risk of electrical shock, fire or electrocution when decorating their homes or businesses for the festive season.

Safe Holiday Decorating Tips:

  • When decorating outside, be sure to look up and all around to locate any power lines. Keep yourself, ladder, poles and lights at least three metres away from any power line. Never hang holiday lights or other decorations on trees that are located near power lines.
  • Use only lights, cords, animated displays and decorations rated and approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for outdoor use or wet locations.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration for cracked or loose sockets and frayed or bare wires that could cause a serious shock or fire hazard
  • Never replace burned out bulbs or install lights with the power on. Plug lights in to test them, and then unplug them to replace bulbs and install them.
  • Plug outdoor decorations into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to avoid electrical shock. GFCI extension cords are available for use if your outdoor outlet is not equipped with a GFCI.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets and circuits, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Do not connect LED strings of lights to conventional strings of lights.
  • Do not connect more than three strings of lights together.
  • Use specially designed plastic eaves clips to hang outdoor lights.
  • Never hang lights with nails or tacks
  • Be sure to turn off all holiday lights before going to bed or when you are not at home
  • Consider switching traditional incandescent holiday bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs remain cool to the touch and don't pose a fire risk if they come into contact with trees or other decorations.

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. - Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity to approximately 50,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Guelph and Rockwood. For more information, visit: