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Seasonal safety survey by CSA International highlights holiday hazards

Fire safety tips are extremely necessary to follow during the holiday season says CSA International.
CSA International is asking people to take necessary safety tips during holidays

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of CSA International, polled 1046 Americans about their holiday safety habits.

Many Americans engage in alarming habits when it comes to holiday safety and décor, according to a new survey from CSA International. Putting their homes at risk of fire, 22 percent of Americans leave their holiday lights up for at least two months. Of equal concern, 23 percent of respondents rarely or never check to see if holiday decorations have been tested and certified for safety.

"Consumers need to ensure that their holiday lights and decorations are certified as safe for use either indoors or outdoors," said Ash Sahi, President and CEO, CSA Group. "Because uncertified holiday lights have the potential to cause serious injury and damage, CSA International is asking everyone to take a moment to think about safety around their homes and neighborhoods as they purchase and hang holiday decorations this season."

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of CSA International, polled 1,046 Americans about their holiday safety habits. The survey results are particularly troubling considering a 2009 report by the National Fire Protection Association that found 23 percent of Christmas tree fires involved decorative lights. In addition, decorative lights are involved in an average of 170 home structure fires per year.

With this information in mind, CSA International is shining a light on holiday décor and lighting with the following safety tips:

People often risk their life by not following basic safety measures during holiday enjoyment

Lighting Inside and Outside to Keep People Safe.

  • Out with the old: Carefully inspect holiday light strings for inside and outside use each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.
  • Size 'em up: Unplug light strings before replacing bulbs and check to ensure replacement bulbs match the voltage and wattage of the original. Make certain that bulb reflectors are the correct size for the light string.
  • Spot the mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords and electrical decorations, look for a certification mark, such as one from CSA International. This certification provides assurance that the products are tested and certified to the applicable standards for safety and performance.
    Also, ensure that outdoor light strings, cords, spotlights and floodlights have a certification mark for outdoor use.

Shopping for the Holiday, Be Smart.

  • Scrutinize the packaging: Counterfeit packaging often has an inferior design or partial illustrations. Look for misspellings and unclear print on products and labels. Also, check for a discrepancy between the contents of the product package and its description.
  • See and feel: Check the heaviness and the "look and feel" of products. Fakes are often light and flimsy.
  • Know your mark: Avoid electrical products that are missing a certification mark from an accredited certification organization, such as CSA International. When products don't include brand identifiers or trademarks, they may be fakes. Look for missing return addresses or company contact information.

Reducing Fire and Tree Risks.

  • Watch the flicker of candles: Do not use open flames or candles on or near flammable materials, such as wreaths, trees or paper decorations.
  • Fresh or fake, be safe: If you buy a real tree, make sure it's fresh. Fresh trees will be less likely to dry out and become a fire hazard. Artificial trees with holiday lights should have a certification mark on them and should be made of fire-resistant material. 

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