Safety & HCM Post

Naughty & Nice Holiday Decorating Practices


Think of naughty and nice and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” probably comes to mind, but the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) wants you to consider some naughty and nice holiday decorating practices which are applicable to workplaces and homes alike. The items on the naughty list shouldn’t be taken lightly because they can lead to deadly fires and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.


Any One of These Things Will Put You On The Naughty List: 

  • Connecting more than three strings of incandescent lights together.
  • Overloading outlets with decorations.
  • Using decorations with cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires or loose connections.
  • Connecting multiple extension cords.
  • Improperly using cords by nailing or stapling them, pinching them by furniture, placing them in doors or windows, or covering them with rugs.
  • Keeping indoor and outdoor decorations on when leaving home or the workplace, or going to bed without turning all home decorations off.


All of These Things Will Put You On The Nice List:

  • Watering Christmas trees daily.
  • Keeping all decorations at least three feet (a meter) away from heating equipment or open flames.
  • Plugging outdoor electrical decorations into ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles or portable GFCIs.
  • Following manufacturers’ instructions and using products as they were intended regarding indoor and outdoor use.
  • Purchasing electrical decorations from reputable retailers, and ensuring they are approved by a nationally recognized testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
  • Decorating with LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.


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