Christmas time is about spending quality time with your loved ones! Celebrating and getting your house dressed up with lights and decorations is also part of the festive spirit, but there are safety issues you should consider before the time comes up!
For that reason, our Service Today Electrical team decided to share the most valuable secrets to keep your house safe during this festive season.
Check your old Christmas lights
Setting up Christmas decorations and lights can be a painstakingly slow routine of unravelling and detangling wires. Use this time to check that there are no exposed wires, broken or damaged sockets, loose wiring or any other obvious damage that may cause electrical failures or even fires. If there is, don’t try and fix them, the best thing you can do is to get yourself some new lights!
Tip: Look for an Australian product approval number or the regulatory compliance mark on any lights you buy.
Indoor Christmas lights
Christmas tree lights used indoors are the cause of many electrical fires that could have been avoided. Ensure the lights used are quality and read the packaging and instructions. We recommend using LED lights, as they generate less heat than standard Christmas lights, reducing the risk of electrical fires and they are also cheaper to run!
Additionally, double-check that your smoke alarm is working correctly. In case of a fire, you want to be sure that you will be alerted as quickly as possible.
Pay attention to your outdoor lighting
When planning your Christmas display outdoors, ensure that you have adequate electrical outlets and only use extension cords that are purpose-built for outdoor use. Outdoor Christmas lights have an IP rating, this number shows how weatherproof is; the higher the numbers, the better for outdoor use.
Last but not least, protect all wires from the weather and look out for any other possible safety issues, like ensuring your wires and lights are not a tripping hazard for your family or visitors.
Tip: Use solar-powered lights, LED or extra-low-voltage lights, as these are the safest options. They help to prevent things like an electric shock, overheating and fires.
Electrical circuits and power boards
Overloaded power boards and circuits are one of the biggest causes of Christmas housefires and blackouts. To prevent overloading, we recommend using power boards fitted with overload protection or that have in-built prevention and shut-off systems. In addition, make sure to manage the number of appliances and lights connected to your power boards and power points at once.
A safety switch is installed by a licensed electrician on your switchboard. It detects an imbalance of power in the current, instantly. Safety switches shut the power off if it surges, giving you peace of mind that your home is safe. To find out more about safety switches in your home, contact a licensed electrician.
Replace wick candles with electrical
Traditional candles are a known fire hazard due to the frequency of house fires thanks to forgotten lit candles. Place your candles on a non-flammable surface and extinguish them before going to bed or leaving the house. These days, there is a huge range of electric candles that look almost identical to wax candles!
Check the Australian Government’s product recall website for your lights. Here you will find all information about products that have been deemed not safe for use.
Keep an Emergency Electrician's phone number handy
Make sure everything is turned off
Though it’s a tedious task, ensure that all your power points and lights are turned off before heading to bed. We also recommend investing in timer power plugs as they automatically turn the power off at a designated time. This can reduce the risk of electrical fires overnight, especially if rain or a thunderstorm is coming up.
By following these indoor and outdoor safety Christmas tips, you can avoid an increased electricity bill, and enjoy a stress-free holiday season with your family and friends to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.