Is it me or does Christmas seem to come around quicker every year? On the weekend we broke family tradition and put up the Christmas Tree before December 1st. With four children it is such an exciting time! Whilst my oldest was beautifully hanging ornaments and my youngest was entangling herself in the old Christmas lights, it got me thinking, are my old Christmas lights safe? How would I know if they aren’t?
I have put together some tips to ensure your Christmas lights are safe before they go on the Christmas Tree and whilst they are hanging there for the next 4 weeks.
Before putting up your Christmas lights
- Make sure you are using indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside.
- Only use Australian compliant lights. Be careful buying off the internet. (More on this below)
- Inspect old Christmas lights and electrical wires for any sign of wear and tear.
- Unwind all extension leads and lights to avoid overheating.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Do not alter or modify the lights.
- Test your safety switch and smoke alarm to check that they are working. Both of these will save lives in the event of an electrical fault or fire.
- Keep Christmas lights out of reach of young children.
- Educate older children on Electrical safety.
- Check your old Christmas lights have not been part of a product recall.
Safely putting up Christmas Lights
- Turn the power off when putting up Christmas lights or changing light bulbs.
- Keep Christmas lights away from any high powered lights that may become very hot such as Halogen lights. This could lead to a fire.
- Unwind all lights and extension lead before putting up to avoid overheating.
- Do not put Christmas Lights anywhere near a wet area.
- If using a powerboard, use one with surge protection.
- Always turn your Christmas lights off when you leave your house or go to bed.
Beware Cheap or Imported Christmas Lights
Faulty electrical appliances are still one of the main causes of house fires in Australia. As with all electrical appliances, Christmas lights must meet Australian safety standards before they can be sold in Australia. Some lights that you are able to purchase of the internet will not meet Australian safety standards making you vulnerable to electrical faults and electrical fires. Only buy your lights from reputable Queensland dealers.
Also if you are buying second hand Christmas lights, they should be checked by a licensed electrician to make sure they are safe to use.