Father warns of Christmas decoration dangers after transformer explodes near his toddler
VANCOUVER -- A Maple Ridge father is urging people to double check their Christmas decorations after a terrifying incident in his home.
Kyle Benzies and his two-year-old daughter were setting up a 4-foot reindeer unit Friday morning but seconds after plugging it in, the transformer exploded. It was caught on video by Benzies’ home security camera.
“(The) transformer blew on the actual unit, you can hear on the video the electrical pop. My daughter was terrified,” Benzies said. “There was a genuine electrical explosion, it burnt our tile.”
His daughter, Melanie, was only a foot away when the spark happened and the video captures her terrified scream as she crawls away. She wasn’t hurt, but is still a little shaken.
“She was terrified, flat out terrified,” Benzies said. “Right now she doesn’t want to go outside because that’s where daddy put the deer that are going to be going in the garbage.”
Benzies said he bought the product from Home Depot in Langley a few years ago, “Home Accents Holiday 42 inch Silver Sparkling Doe”. He called the store right after the explosion and said they offered him a full refund, but “I was kind of left with the thought that they wouldn’t do anything further.”
In a statement to CTV News, Home Depot Canada's director of corporate communications, Paul Berto, said, "The health and safety of our customers is our top priority, and we apologize to our customer and their family. I can assure you that we take this matter very seriously and our merchants and suppliers are investigating the situation."
Daniel Cowan, the owner of a Christmas lighting installation company called Festilight says not all Christmas lights are built the same, and that most store-bought products made for residential use will start to fail around the two or three year mark, even earlier. He said Vancouver sees higher failure rates for outdoor products because of the amount of rain we get. Cowan offered safety tips, with his primary advice being to check your Christmas lights thoroughly when unpacking them.
“Make sure that there aren’t any signs of corrosion. Test them on the ground, maybe around something that isn’t flammable,” Cowan said.
Also when putting lights away at the end of the festive season, make sure they’re dry and stored in a breathable container.
“The worst thing you can do is take a wet string of lights after you remove them from your home and put them in a sealed, plastic bin, because that’s where you’ll get a lot of corrosion.”