December is a time for Christmas cheer and during this period many families choose to turn their homes into joyous festive displays.
Last year Leading Electrical WA featured on Channel 9 news after a Perth family was left homeless after second-hand Christmas lights caused a fire at their eastern suburbs home. Fortunately no one was hurt, but surely this wasn't the type of Christmas they expected.
During this period its important to remember safety, especially electrical safety if you plan to install Christmas lights.
We have detailed below some tips published by Master Electricians to help people prevent unfortunate Christmas electrical incidents:
Check for an Australian Approval number when purchasing lights such as Q12345, V01294, or N12345
When installing lights outdoors, only use lights designed for external use. Generally these types will have a transformer
Ensure you have safety switches installed - preferably on all circuits in your home, but definitely on the circuits powering your Christmas lights
Use extra low voltage lights - look for lights with a transformer
Always turn off outdoor lights during rain or storms
Ensure your outdoor connections are weatherproofed
Do not piggyback double adapters or power boards
Always keep clear of powerlines, swimming pools, driveways, and walkways
Go solar if you can - it's better for the environment, and safer for you
Secure outdoor lights to fixtures and keep out of children’s reach
Follow the instructions and recommendations of manufacturer
Visit www.recalls.gov.au to check for any recalled Christmas lights
Leading Electrical WA would also encourage you to stay away from second hand electrical goods, as you can not ensure that they are safe, unless they are tested. If possible, try and invest in your own new lights (preferably LEDs for safety and sustainability) and follow the manufacturers instructions.
Storing lights correctly at the end of December is also important to ensure they are safe to use again. Wrapping lights around a reel or flat piece of cardboard and storing them in a dry place, is ideal. Avoid putting heavy objects on top of stored lights.
Further to this is common sense. If you are unsure if your lights or any of your other lighting or electrical appliances are safe do not put your life at risk this Christmas! Please call a qualified electrician at Leading Electrical WA to assess your safety needs.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at Leading Electrical WA!