‘Tis the season for Christmas electrical safety

Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but it also comes at a risk of electrical accidents. Stay safe this Christmas with Fallon Solutions electricians by adopting these safety precautions in your home.


Lights are the most common hazard around Christmas. Here are a few key points to keep in mind before creating your perfect festive wonderland this year.

Firstly, make sure you use LED lights. LEDs are the best option as they are less likely to run hot, burn out, or explode than the standard filament variety. Secondly, always use indoor lights for indoors and outdoor lights for outdoors. Indoor lights are not equipped for our harsh Australian climate and pose a huge electrical risk.

5 top tips for safe lights this Christmas

#1 – Check and test Christmas lights
We only tend to take the lights out once a year so after spending the last 11 months in a box in the garage, some could be damaged or the wiring frayed. Check all aspects of the lights prior to plugging them into a power point to see how they fair; although we recommend using a handheld Multimeter. With many strings of Christmas lights, when one light fails, the whole set stops working, so the Multimeter can verify which lights are working and which have thrown in the towel and need replacing.

#2 – Check your Christmas lights are Australian Compliant
All Australian electrical equipment and appliances must be compliant with our safety standards and your Christmas lights are no different. In fact, in Queensland, all Christmas lights must have a certificate of approval before they go to retail. Look for the Australian Approval number Q12345 or the Regulatory Compliance mark logo and never modify or alter the lights as this can compromise their integrity.

Regulatory Compliance mark logo

#3 – Turn your Christmas lights off when you go to bed
Before you go to sleep, always make sure that all of your Christmas lights are turned off at the power outlet. This will help keep the family safe from electrical faults and potential fires whilst you’re sleeping as well as keep the cost down! The best way to ensure all fairy lights are off is to install a timer on them.

#4 – Ensure your leads and connectors are waterproof
To keep your outdoor lights safe from rain, you need a set of extension leads that are IP rated for Australian conditions. Make sure to get waterproof ones so they can withstand the elements. Next step is to invest in some waterproof connectors, which are plastic casings to shield the connection between your lights and the extension lead.

#5 – Go solar
From basic fairy lights to life-size reindeer, solar Christmas lights are the future! Now I know what you’re thinking: you want your lights on at night and there’s no sun to power them at night. Yes, that’s correct, however, we can utilise having an abundance of sunshine over Christmas as solar lights come with a rechargeable battery and small solar panel of their own.

Christmas fairy lights

Safety switches and overloading

So, we’ve addressed Christmas lights, we know about the risks associated with ladders and roofs, electric shocks and burns; what else could there possibly be? Storms! Yes, Queensland’s famous storm season over the Christmas period causes unpredictable conditions for your electricity.

Safety switches are compulsory in Queensland and rightly so as they provide protection against electric shocks and save lives time and time again. Your safety switches also need to be tested by yourself or a licensed electrician at least every 6 months to make sure they are working properly. Safety switches cut off the electricity supply to the circuit in 0.003 seconds (pretty much instantaneous) and remain the most important electrical safety tool out there.

“How many” I hear you ask. Well, one may be enough but when it comes to safety switches, more is more! You should have them installed on every circuit in your property including on the air conditioning, oven, hot water, swimming pool, and essentially everything that has an electrical circuit.

Next, let’s talk about size…bigger is most definitely not better when it comes to Christmas decorations I’m afraid. By having an exorbitant amount of lights flashing and lighting up the runway for Santa to land his sleigh on, you are likely to cause an electrical overload. This overburdening of your switchboard may cause the circuit breaker to trip and you will be left in complete darkness, as well as stopping the animatronic Santa in his tracks!

Christmas holidays

Whether you are having a break from the office or travelling to exotic climates, your electrical safety should be at the forefront of your mind as you need to minimise the risk of any fire and damage taking place whilst you’re enjoying your holiday. The Queensland government advises us to switch off all devices and appliances at the outlet if they’re not going to be in use whilst away to minimise the risk of fire.

Another benefit of unplugging will be your electricity bill: you’ll be thanking us later!


Christmas lights | Electrical Safety Office