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Safely light up the festive season with quality Christmas lights

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As we begin to decorate our homes for the festive season, Queenslanders are being encouraged to play it safe when it comes to Christmas lights.

Head of Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office Victoria Thomson said there’s no substitute for quality and we should only buy Christmas lights which meet Australian Standards, even though they may be more expensive.

"Non-compliant lights available online and shipped in from overseas are a real problem. They are usually less expensive, but you could pay a high price in the end," Ms Thomson said.

“Buying Australian-compliant lights might cost a little more, but it’s the safest way to go and you know exactly what you’re getting.

"Extra low voltage lights powered by a transformer are a good way to go. They are safer than your traditional 240v lights.

“Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your lighting – ditch the old faithfuls and invest in LED lights which use less energy and last longer.

“If you’re not willing or able to make the change, unravel your old lights carefully and, before plugging them in, look at the plug, leads and lamp holders to check there are no exposed wires or obvious damage.

“It’s a good idea to get them checked by a licensed electrician if you have any concerns.”

ESO has a number of tips about Christmas lights:

  • Only use lights outdoors if they are marked as suitable for outdoor use.
  • Buy Australian-compliant lights and be wary of purchasing non-compliant lights over the internet from overseas.
  • Check old Christmas lights before re-using them.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Don't alter or modify lights.
  • Ensure all lights, extension leads and power boards are suitable for the intended use (e.g. indoor use only or suitable for outdoors).
  • Test your safety switch and smoke detector to make sure they are working.
  • Always turn off decorative lighting before going to bed or leaving your house.

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

"Buy your lights from a reputable supplier who knows the electrical equipment safety requirements,” Ms Thomson said.

“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.”

For more information on safety hints when buying, using or storing decorative lights visit www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au

Ends.

Media contact: 0478 332 200 or oirmedia@oir.qld.gov.au

Last updated
27 November 2017