Canadians Reminded Of Electrical Safety This Holiday Season

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Electrical products like sparkling lights, decorations and flashy toys form a central part of holiday celebrations in Canada. With the holiday season quickly approaching, Health Canada is taking this opportunity to remind the public of simple steps they can take to choose safe electrical products and to use them safely.

Electrical products that are not properly certified to the standards required by provincial/territorial electrical authorities, can cause serious problems when used, leading to fires, injuries and even death. When buying electrical products, verify that they are certified to the Canadian electrical safety standards required. If you notice products which do not bear at least one of the required certification marks below (requiring the letter 'c' in some form to designate certification to Canadian electrical safety standards), report them to the retailer and to your Provincial/Territorial/Municipal Electrical Safety Authority or to Health Canada.

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Of special note, Health Canada has recently become aware of dangerous electrical products in stores that have not been certified by accredited Certification Organizations such as Canadian Standards Association International (CSA), Underwriter's Laboratories of Canada (ULC) and others to meet the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code and the Provincial/Territorial Electrical Safety Authorities. A recent example of this is the Next link will open in a new window animated lamps that are being withdrawn from sale and should not be used.

Improper certification information may not only indicate a sub-standard product, but in some instances, a counterfeit item. Almost any item can be counterfeited. The most reliable way to tell if a product is counterfeit is by its price. If a product is offered at an extremely low price, it could be counterfeit. Counterfeiters are very skilled at mimicking the packaging of legitimate products. This makes it very difficult to determine whether or not a product is counterfeit by appearance alone.

Purchase electrical products from a reputable dealer and when checking products for safety marks, be sure to look at more than the power cord. Often, non-compliant suppliers install improper labels and stickers or approved (marked) power cords on products hoping that purchasers will assume that the product also meets other required safety standards. Examine the packaging carefully before you buy or use electrical products and if in doubt, verify with the retailer.

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