Five tips for avoiding accidents with holiday decorations

Published on Tuesday, 10 December 2019

  • Last year calls to Enel Distribución about electrical accidents involving holiday decorations increased by 28%.


Santiago, December 10, 2019 – With the goal of avoiding electrical accidents linked to unsafe handling of holiday decorations, Enel Distribución has issued a number of recommendations as part of this year’s traditional “Safe Christmas” campaign.

“For years we have been raising awareness of tips and best practices for families that decorate their homes at Christmas, making sure they get information that allows them to take all necessary precautions for preventing accidents. Using uncertified products or running wiring without the necessary experience and safety equipment can seriously increase the risk of electric shocks and fires, while also putting other people at risk of suffering power outages. This is why we are advising people how to take care of themselves and enjoy the holiday season in safety,” said Enel Distribución CEO Ramón Castañeda.

In December 2018 Enel Distribución received 208 call outs relating to electrical accidents caused by overloads inside the home, causing fires or severe fire risks - this was 28% up on the figures from December 2017, showing a drop in awareness about the risks associated with unsafe handling of holiday decorations.

Our 2019 campaign therefore sets out to provide people with the information they need to cut down on electrical accidents, shock hazards, and fires that can be caused by items such as holiday arrangements, sockets, multi-way adapters, extension cables, light bulbs, and tree lights, unless the right safeguards are applied.

Usage of uncertified holiday decorations, both within homes and outdoors, not only increases the risk of shocks and fires: it also risks causing outages of the community’s power supply when people try to hang decorations on electrical supply cables and posts.

Things to bear in mind before decorating a home:

  1. Only buy lights and extension cables that are certified by a body approved by the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuels (SEC). This will allow you to light up your Christmas tree with a safe product, preventing overheating or electrical problems that could lead to serious accidents.
  2. Buy thick-wire lights - the ones with thin wires can get broken, cracked, or melted by the current passing through them. If you are using the same lights as last year, check the cables for cracks or breakages. If you find any, discard them.
  3. Do not overload your home’s wiring with excessive holiday decorations, as this can cause overheating in cables, lights, and Christmas trees.
  4. Do not decorate outdoor garden trees as these areas have high levels of moisture, which increases the risk of electrical accidents.
  5. In the event of an accident, shut off power at the breaker and unplug any items that are touching the victim.


More tips and information are available HERE