The festive season is upon us, us and many of us are gearing up to deck the halls – which usually includes our Christmas lights. Without being too Scrooge-like, it is worth remembering that Christmas lights can put additional strain on our electrical systems at home and whilst they look fantastically festive, we should also remember to ensure that they are safe as well:
If you are reusing your Christmas lights – check them carefully before putting them up to make sure that they aren’t damaged in any way. This means inspecting the individual bulbs and wires as well. If you have been using your lights for a number of years, consider whether it might be a good idea to replace them this year?
Take care when putting up your lights. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and that you avoid placing them anywhere where they could generate too much heat which could cause a fire. Also avoid any position where they could come into contact with liquid.
Christmas lights have been specifically designed for use either indoors or outside. Make sure you use designated interior or exterior lights as appropriate.
Don’t leave your Christmas lights on overnight – this is a waste of energy and in the worst case scenario they could overheat and cause a fire or damage your electrical system.
Avoid overloading sockets with lots of extension plugs. If you need more plug sockets – make sure that you contact a qualified electrician to do this for you.
Keep an eye on small children and pets around your Christmas lighting and never leave them unattended with Christmas lights.
Are you buying new Christmas lights this year?
If you are investing in new lights – then make sure these are future proof. You can now get very low voltage options, as well as LED lights. The latter use less energy and generate very little heat. Always buy your lights from a reputable retailer and check for relevant safety marks e.g. the BS Kite Mark.
Electrical Safety First has very useful advice on how to put up and maintain your Christmas lights.
Remember that Christmas electrical safety isn’t just about lights – also make sure that you follow general electrical safety round the home. This is a good time of year to check your smoke alarms and carry out a general check of your electrics to make sure everything is ready for the festive season – particularly if you are expecting lots of guests over the festive period.
If you need help or advice on any electrical matter, or any electrical work completed in the run up to the festive season – get in touch with GW Electrical for advice and guidance.