Decorative Light Safety

G DECORATIVE LIGHTS iStock_000014531700Small[1]You only use your festive lights once a year, follow the safety tips below to celebrate safely.


Fairy Lights and Christmas Tree Lights

  • check lights aren’t damaged or broken and look out for loose or worn wires
  • check the fuse in the plug is the right size – the lights’ packaging should tell you the maximum size of fuse you should use
  • don’t overload sockets
  • replace any bulbs that blow
  • switch lights off when you go to bed or leave the house
  • don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper or fabrics and other Christmas tree decorations

If you are unsure about the safety of your Christmas lights? Don’t use them.

How long do you think a Christmas tree fire to destroy a living room? Watch this video:

Indoor and outdoor decorative lights

You could use light-emitting diode bulbs indoors – known as LED lights. LED lights work at a lower voltage than traditional bulbs so there is less risk of electric shock.

You can also buy Christmas lights with a low voltage transformer. The transformer reduces the normal voltage so the lights are safer to use.

If you want to use decorative lights outside, you should make sure they are designed for outdoor use only and are connected through an RCD-protected socket. A residual current device (RCD) protects against electric shock by disconnecting the electricity if the current is uneven. An RCD is sometimes called a safety switch or circuit breaker and costs about £10.

You should make sure you know where your fuse box is so that you can turn it off quickly in an emergency. A fuse box is sometimes called a consumer unit.

You can read more tips on seasonal electrical safety on the Electrical Safety Council website


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