A Maple Ridge dad whose deer decoration blew up right in front of his toddler has a safety warning.
Kyle Benzies, with his daughter Melanie, who is almost three, were decorating their Silver Valley home on Friday morning. When they plugged in the decoration, the transformer blew up with a flash of flame and a loud electrical “zap.”
A home video camera captured the incident, and it was followed by screams from the terrified toddler as she crawled away. Dad got a fright too.
“It could have been way worse,” said Benzies, noting flame shot out like a blow torch being lit.
He said it was like an explosion, and the flame shot about 25 centimeters. It left a black scorch mark on his tile floor. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
Melanie got the fright of her life. She loves to be scared, said Dad, and screams when they play hide and seek, but this was different.
“I’ve never heard those screams before. This was complete terror.”
He wants to make sure nobody gets hurt, and called Home Depot, where he bought two outdoor reindeer decorations from their Home Accents Holiday brand.
They offered him a full refund, but Benzies said he is less interested in getting his money back, and more concerned with making sure this product, the LED Silver Sparkling Doe, is safe.
“The health and safety of our customers is our top priority, and we apologize to our customer and their family,” said Paul Berto, director, corporate communications, The Home Depot Canada.
“I can assure you that we take this matter very seriously and our merchants and suppliers are investigating the situation.”
“Be careful putting up your Christmas lights this weekend,”advised Benzies.
That’s also the advice of the Canada Safety Council. It advises consumers to look for the CSA label, which means it has been inspected and approved by the Canadian Standards Association. Also, never use outdoor lights indoors, or vice versa. Inspect your lights, and ensure there are no cracked sockets, bare wires or loose connections. If there are, throw the string away. Outdoor lights can be prone to corrosion. Unplug your lights when you leave.