Electrical safety tips for the Christmas holidays

Christmas is almost here for another year; the decorations have made their way on to the tree and summer holiday preparations are well underway.

With all the fun, food, parties, planning and decorating, and catch-ups with family and friends underway, home electrical safety is not usually something you think about or is high on the to-do list.

To help keep you, your home, family and friends safe during this Christmas and summer holiday season we share with you these important electrical safety tips and advice.  Remember, when thinking about electrical safety, these tips can apply to your home anytime.

By focusing on a few key areas of where electrical items are in use throughout the Christmas holiday season, you can get on top of any potential hazards and keep everyone safe to enjoy the celebrations.

Outdoor Christmas lights

There is something magical about sharing the spirit of Christmas with your community by draping your home and garden in colourful lights and decorations.

The first safety consideration is to ensure you have an adequate number of electrical outlets to support the lights and decorations you plan to place on the roof, doors, driveway, garden beds and around your trees.  You also need to ensure any outdoor electrical connections are weatherproofed.

When building your outdoor lighting display remember, safety first with these tips;

  • All outside lights need to be rated for outdoor use
  • Use extra-low voltage, such as LED or solar lights
  • Use power boards fitted with overload protection
  • Don’t piggyback plugs or using double adaptors
  • Install a safety switch and test prior to setting up your light display – a portable safety switch can also be used
  • Be smart with extension cords and place in areas so they are not a tripping hazard
  • Don’t use nails or staples when hanging lights as they could pierce and damage the protecting rubber and expose the wires

A very important electrical safety tip is to make sure you take down all outdoor Christmas decorations and lights once the holidays are over, as they are not designed to be exposed to weather and the elements 12 months of the year.

Deterioration occurs to most items left outdoors in the weather for extended periods of time, and electrical wires are no different.  It’s far smarter and safer to pack your Christmas lights away safely until next Christmas rather than having to replace the lights unnecessarily and risk wire erosion and other hazards.  It also helps reduce the risk of an electrical fire.

Christmas decorations

The joy of Christmas decorations can soon turn to gloom if not handled properly.  A few areas that potentially could cause safety issues include your loved Christmas tree.

Fake trees should be non-flammable, so we recommend you check the labels carefully.   Keep real Christmas trees well-watered as dry trees can easily catch fire if left close to candles or open fires.   We recommend that you keep a fire extinguisher close to the tree as a good electrical safety practice.

Christmas tree lights can cause an electrical fire and should be a high priority when safeguarding your home.   Check for broken plugs or bulbs, any cords coming apart or unusual colouring of bulbs that could indicate an electrical fault before you wrap your tree in lights.

It is recommended you use LED lights which give off minimal heat rather than standard Christmas lights which generate heat.  Heat generating lights should not be left on while the tree is unattended.  LED lights also have the extra benefit of being electrically efficient.

Use only lights that have passed Australian Safety Standards.

The Christmas kitchen and entertaining

It’s easy to get distracted when you have a house full of family and friends celebrating Christmas, so please don’t leave the cooking unattended.    Watch the stoves!

It’s important to not overload your home’s electrical circuits so we recommend managing the number of appliances being used at any one time.  e.g. electric oven or stove being used at the same time as your entertainment systems and extra Christmas lights

How can my electrician help?

A few checks in place before the Christmas season gets in full swing can help eliminate any factors that may affect electrical safety in your home.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Christmas electrical safety tips, or would simply like to learn more about the electrical services we offer, please call us on 03 5245 7727, or email [email protected] to speak with one of our friendly team about how we can help you safeguard your home.

We wish our valued customers, friends and family a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and happy holiday season.

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