Warning on dodgy Christmas lights

Western Australians are warned against dodgy Christmas lights to ensure they are safe to use.

Acting Director of Energy Safety Saj Khan said everyone should make sure their Christmas lights are approved, safe and in good working condition this holiday season.

“Decorating with Christmas tree and fairy lights is a common tradition during the festive season but, used incorrectly, these lights can cause electric shocks and fires,” he said.

“Always ensure lights, extension cords and powerboards are suitable for the situation in which you intend to use them – use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors.

“Damaged lights can be dangerous, so before using last year’s Christmas lights, they should be unravelled and the plug, leads and lamp holders checked for exposed wires or obvious damage.

“Be wary of purchasing lights over the internet from overseas – they may not comply with Australian safety standards.

“Just like other electrical equipment and appliances, Christmas lights must meet safety standards and require Australian certification before being sold in WA.

“Always check for the regulatory compliance logo or other Australian compliance marks, usually found on a plastic tag near the plug or on the transformer,” he said.

Mr. Khan said that outdoor Christmas lights should be placed at a safe distance from any power lines. People are urged to follow manufacturer’s instruction.

Some tips for using Christmas lights:

  • Check old Christmas lights before reusing them. Before hanging lights on your tree, check they are in good working order, show no damage and are  untangled.
  •  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  •  Ensure all lights, extension leads and power boards are suitable for the intended use (e.g. indoor use only or suitable for outdoors).
  •  Don’t alter or modify lights.
  •  Turn off power points or light switches before replacing light bulbs.
  •  Test your residual current devices (RCDs) to make sure they are working.
  •  Always turn off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving your house.

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