South Coast Electrical Solutions
Be electrically safe when you put up Christmas Lights
South Coast Electrical Solutions

 

Christmas Lights and Electrical Safety

Be safe this Christmas when you put up Christmas Lights

It’s that time of the year when Christmas lights light up our homes both inside and out. During this time it’s important to remember to be electrically safe when putting up the lights and decorations (and taking them down).

Below are some simple electrical safety guidelines and tips that should be followed to help keep you and your family electrically 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 experience or not sure, contact a licensed electrician.

Buying new Christmas lights

As with all electrical products, Christmas lights must meet Australian Safety standards and are required to have an Australian certificate of approval.

  • Beware of buying Christmas lights over the internet from overseas,
  • Always buy Australian compliant Christmas lights
  • If you are not sure what to look for NSW Fair Trading website has information
  • Buy your Christmas lights from a reputable dealer who will know the electrical safety requirements for selling Christmas lights in Australia
  • 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
  • Use extra-low voltage outside, such as LED lights. Selecting energy-efficiency Christmas lights will significantly reduce your power bill
  • Use solar Christmas lights if you can – it’s safer for you and better for the environment

 

Before you put up your Christmas lights

  • Inspect your Christmas lights for any signs of wear and check there is no damage to the electrical wires
  • 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
  • Do not alter or modify lights
  • Use indoor lights indoors and outdoors light outdoors
  • Make electrical safety a high priority

Installing Christmas lights outdoors

  • Only use outdoor lights for outside your home
  • Make sure plugs are fully inserted into sockets and are tight fitting
  • 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 and common sense 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
  • 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
  • If you use power boards, make sure they are fitted with over-load protection

Indoor Christmas lights

  • Lights suitable for indoor use should only be used indoors, this will be written on the packaging or on the lights near the plug
  • Test your safety switch and smoke alarms before setting up your lights
  • Keep the lights away from Children
  • Turn off your Christmas lights before you go to bed
  • Don’t leave your Christmas lights on if you are not at home

Everyday Safety tips

  • 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
  • Avoid using double adaptors
  • Always unwind extension leads to avoid possible overheating
  • 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 solar Christmas lights and store them separately
  • 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 damaged
  • Store the lights in the original packaging
  • Keep the sets together, the lights with the correct power transformer
  • Store Christmas lights in a dry area

To get any further advise on safe Christmas lighting contact a licensed electrician.

South Coast Electrical Solutions would like you to stay safe this Christmas season and have a Merry Christmas.

Christmas light electrical safety

Merry Christmas from South Coast Electrical Solutions