Christmas Light Safety Tips
Christmas light safety tips
Christmas is a lovely time of year and driving around to homes in your neighbourhood in the evening with your family to see all the homes lit up with Christmas lights is a great enjoyment. If you are putting Christmas lights on or around your home, South Coast Electrical Solutions would like you to stay safe this Christmas season and give you some tips on buying, putting up and taking down your Christmas lights.
Below are some simple safety guidelines that should be followed in order to help keep your family safe this Christmas. South Coast Electrical Solutions urges everyone installing Christmas lights to use common sense with any electrical equipment you use. If you are not experienced or not sure, contact a licensed electrician.
Before you buy Christmas lights
Make sure the lights that you purchase met Australian Standards be wary of purchasing non-compliant lights on the internet from overseas.
- Buy lights from a reputable dealer who will know the electrical equipment safety requirements for selling Christmas lights.
- Look for an approval number (e.g. Q12345; V12345; N12345; NSW12345) or the regulatory compliance mark logo. These marks must be on the Christmas lights and are normally found on the packaging, plastic tag, near the plug or on the transformer.
- Outdoor Christmas lights will have an IP rating (e.g. IPX3, IP23, IP44), this number shows how weatherproof the light is – the higher the numbers, the better the weatherproof rating. Outdoor equipment must have at rating of least IP23. It’s not safe to use indoor lights outdoors as they don’t have the additional weatherproof ratings.
- If you are considering purchasing second hand Christmas lights, they should be checked by a licensed electrician to make sure they are safe to use.
- Use extra-low voltage outside, such as LED or solar lights. Selecting energy-efficiency Christmas lights when buying – LED (light-emitting diode) or solar Christmas lights will significantly reduce your power bill.
Before you put up your Christmas lights
- Inspect your Christmas lights for any signs of wear and check the electrical wires to make sure none of them are broken.
- Make sure all the globes are fitted correctly
- It is not advisable to use sets of Christmas lights that have any broken globes or missing globes.
- Make electrical safety a high priority.
Make sure plugs are fully inserted into sockets and are tight fitting.
Electrical Safety Tips
- Check the manufactures safety instructions before you put them up.
- Do not install lights near any flammable materials.
- Do not overload power boards or powerpoints.
- If you intend to put the lights on the outside of your property, make sure that they are manufactured for outdoor use.
- Do not attach Christmas lights to overhead powerlines that connect to your house.
- Be aware of the location and height of powerlines when carrying ladders and setting up the Christmas lights.
- Wear non slip footwear and use safety equipment when using ladders.
- Do not install, adjust or move Christmas lights while they are on or plugged in.
- Always unwind extension leads to avoid possible overheating.
- Test your safety switches in your switchboard and make sure they are working.
- Check you have a safety switch in your switchboard or have a qualified electrician install one.
- Don’t wrap Christmas lights around anything sharp that may damage the wires.
- Don’t put Christmas lighting around swimming pools or wet areas.
- Make sure the connections for outdoor use are weatherproof.
- Avoid using double adaptors or piggy back plugs.
- It is a good idea to use power boards fitted with over-load protection.
- Always unplug the Christmas lights before you go to bed or leaving your house.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order.
- Ensure extension cords or the cords on the Christmas lights don’t become a trip hazard or become damaged.
- Switch off the power before plugging in or pulling out the plug and hold the plug not the cord
- Keep power boards and adaptors to a minimum
- Check the Government website http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952401 for any safety recalls on Christmas lights.
After the Christmas Season
Packing away Christmas lights can be a tiring job, especially as the January weather is usually the hottest time of year. If you look after your Christmas lights you will get a longer life from them. Christmas lights are designed for temporary use, leaving the lights up for extended periods will deteriorate the life of the lights and also create a higher risk of electrical hazard.
- Unplug the Christmas lights before you start taking them down.
- Store and pack Christmas lights in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Remove batteries from 12Volt Christmas lights.
- Always store Christmas lights so that the wires and lights do not become damaged.
- As you take down the lights, inspect the lights and wiring and dispose of any that are not safe.
- Store the lights in the original packaging.
- Keep the sets together, the lights with the correct power transformer.
- Wrap the cords around your arm, and then transform them to a large zip lock bag. Label the bag with the location that they came down from, and if they are indoor or outdoor lights. This is so you don’t forget next time.
- Store Christmas lights in a dry area.
To get any further advise on safe Christmas lighting contact a licensed electrician.
Remember to stay safe and have a Merry Christmas.