Christmas Light Safety – Live to enjoy your Christmas lights this year

Before you hang your lights this season, it’s important to complete safety checks to protect yourself, your family and your home from any potential dangers. Without proper precautions, Christmas lighting displays have been known to start fires in homes and cause people to receive serious injuries from falls off ladders and roofs, electric shocks and burns. Remember Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase)’s Christmas Vacation?

Don’t let your family Christmas vacation be ruined by preventable safety mishaps ~ Stay safe this Christmas Season with Fallon Solutions.

When installing your Christmas lights this season, please consider the following helpful hints and stay safe over the Christmas season:

Check your old Christmas lights

Before installing last years old lights take a good look to check they are in safe working order. If you have any concerns, get your Christmas lights checked by Fallon Solutions, your local licenced electrical contractors:

  • Inspect each set of lights for any damage – do not use damaged or faulty decorative lights;
  • Make sure extension leads and power boards are safe;
  • Throw away any sets with cracked or damaged sockets, exposed wires or loose connections;
  • Replace bulbs with correct bulbs as recommended by the manufacturers;
  • Do not modify or use modified decorative lighting or other electrical devices without proper certification.

Weather forecasts:

With the Christmas season in Queensland also comes the summer season, which means large rainfall, thunderstorms and gale-force winds. Always practice caution when using outdoor lighting:

  • Check the weather forecast before hanging lights and switching them on;
  • Turn off outdoor Christmas lighting at the socket/outlet during rainy or stormy weather, or if bad weather is forecast and you don’t expect to be home;
  • Don’t leave leads lying in water or wet areas.

Use ladders safely when hanging Christmas lights:

Decorating your house with lights requires the use of a ladder, and improper use could lead to serious injury. One of the most common emergency room injuries from Christmas decorations is falls off ladders or roofs. Below are some practical ladder safety tips from the skilled tradesmen from Fallon Solutions for installing your Christmas lights this year:

  • Stay away from powerlines or feeder lines (from the pole to the house)
  • Do not use metal ladders near electrical wires or source
  • Place your ladder only on dry, firm and level surfaces
  • Always have a person to assist you while hanging lights with a ladder and have them help stabilise the ladder
  • Do not lean the ladder against anything that is not solid and secure.
  • Do not use large ladders in windy conditions

Are your Christmas lights Australian Standards approved?

In the past, authorities have expressed concern over Christmas lights purchased from ‘bargain’ or ‘online’ stores. Non-compliant products have been known to experience overheating in units, exposed live parts and inadequate insulation. Beware that some non-compliant imported products have been found to display counterfeit approval numbers or no approval at all.

Use these tips when buying your Christmas lights on-line

  • Use trusted suppliers and online shops
  • Buy online from the same supplier that you buy from in-store
  • If purchasing electrical goods from an overseas supplier or website then ensure that they are recognised as an Australian distributor.
  • Look for warranty cards, branded packaging, instructions, Australian Standards symbol

Christmas is an expensive time of year for most families, and it is easy to be tempted by discount prices on Christmas lighting to add to your display. Fallon Solutions is urging the community to practise caution and not to purchase cheap decorative light products that are not approved for use in Australia by the electrical safety regulatory Authorities.

When buying Christmas light kits, look for an approval number or regulatory compliance mark logo which indicates compliance with Australian Standards. Only buy lights that have an approval mark.

Install your lights safely this Christmas

This may seem logical but the best advice is to read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before installation and follow all safety warnings. If you have any concerns about safety get your Christmas light or electrical items checked and tested by Fallon Solutions, your local licenced electrical contractor.

  • Never use decorative lights outdoors unless they are specifically designed for such use and marked “suitable for outdoor use”. Usually located on a plastic tag or transformer rating label
  • If you’re using lights only indoors then its OK to buy lights that are marked “for indoor use only”;
  • Solar Powered lights are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative;
  • Secure outside Christmas lights with insulated holders – never use tacks or nails;
  • Use extension cords and power boards for proper use – all outdoor connections must be weatherproof. Weatherproofing accessories are available to purchase;
  • Don’t install lights around or above swimming pools;
  • Don’t run leads over walkways, driveways, or through doorways or windows.

Other ways to keep safe this Christmas

  • To keep your Children Safe we suggest using lights marked “safety extra-low voltage” for light where small children are present.
  • For use around metal objects and metal fencing use “safety extra-low voltage” transformer type Christmas lights
  • Turn off lights when unattended or nobody is home
  •  Check your smoke alarm is working
  • Install a safety switch before installing your Christmas lights to ensure against electric shocks and designed to prevent injury or death. Installing a safety switch is an inexpensive safety measure that protects everyone. Contact Fallon Solutions to test your existing safety switch or install a safety switch, before installing your Christmas Lights this year.

Your family is the most important reason to have a regular electrical inspection. Fallon Solutions are fully qualified to conduct electrical inspections in your home or at your business. Our experienced staff will be able to talk you through what needs to be done in easy to understand language.

We pride ourselves on our speedy, professional and friendly service.

For more Tips for Safe Christmas Lights use visit Queensland Governments Electrical safety.