Published: 10:00, 05 October 2017
Christmas isn’t Christmas if the house and tree aren’t festooned with sparkling fairy lights, but Christmas tree lights can be dangerous, and a potential fire hazard.
Ashley Martin, public health project manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), says: “If you have old lights, seriously consider buying new ones which will meet much higher safety standards.
“Please remember - accidents need not happen, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from injury by following RoSPA’s safety advice for a safe Christmas.”
What you should think about when buying your Christmas lights...
Look for safety marks such as BS Kitemark
Buy from a reputable store
Avoid buying second-hand unless you have them professionally checked first
New lights are transformed down to 24 volt for added safety, or they may be double insulated
Always remember to...
NEVER insert or remove bulbs when switched on
Inspect cables and bulbs for damage
Not use lights that are damaged, dispose of them safely
What you should think about when using Christmas lights...
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Use an RCD (residual current device) for added protection against shock
Do not use the lights outdoors unless specifically made for such use
Don’t run the cable under carpets or where it can be damaged
Avoid cables becoming a tripping hazard
Use a stable support when hanging the lights
Don’t leave the lights on when the room is empty. Remember to switch them off when you go to bed and when you leave the house
Don’t allow children to play with the lights
How to store your Christmas lights...
Take care when dismantling and packing the lights not to damage them
Keep them safely stored away out of reach of children
Avoid damp or excessively hot conditions
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