Electrical safety advice on Christmas lights for the tree and outside
Christmas wouldn’t look nearly as jolly as it does without some added twinkle from lights.
There are many to choose from including fairy lights to decorate the tree with or bigger light decorations to place around the house and even outside.
When it comes to using lights for decorating there are a number of safety measures you need to take. Louise Burks, our award-winning Christmas expert gives her advice on electrical safety when it comes to Christmas lights on the tree and outside.
1. Before using always check that lights aren’t damaged or broken and there are no loose or worn wires.
2. Replace any broken or blown bulbs. There are usually a few spare bulbs in the pack.
3. Don’t overload sockets with plugs and be sure to switch off any lights at the mains when you go to bed or leave the house.
4. Make sure bulbs aren’t touching anything flammable. They can become hot and shouldn’t be placed near paper, fabrics or other Christmas decorations.
5. Use light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs indoors as these work at a lower voltage so there is less risk of electric shock and overheating.
6. Buy bulbs with a low voltage transformer. The transformer reduces the normal voltage so the lights are safer to use.
7. Only use lights outside that have been specifically designed for outside use and are connected through a residual current device (RCD) protected socket. An RCD protects against electric shock by disconnecting the electricity if the current is uneven.
8. Make sure you know where your fuse box is so that you can turn off any lights quickly in an emergency.
9. If you’re unsure about the safety of your lights, simply don’t use them.
10. When packing lights away after the festive season make sure they are in well-sealed containers to prevent any damage.