Are your lights safe?
After 12 months packed away in the loft, Christmas lights can easily become electrically unsafe.
To help prevent the most common electrical problems with Christmas lights, and to enjoy a safe and happy festive season, we recommend the following simple precautions and checks.
- read and follow the manufacturers' instructions
- check your Christmas lights are not damaged or broken before use and look out for loose wires
- use only replacement bulbs of the same type and rating as those originally supplied with the lights
- ensure all outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket
- replace failed lamps immediately to prevent overheating
- ensure plugs and transformers are plugged in indoors, even if the lighting is suitable for outdoor use
- switch your lights off and unplug them before you go to bed or go out
- keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily
- use lights outdoors unless they are specially designed for such use
- connect different lighting sets together
- connect lights to the supply whilst still in the packaging
- remove or insert lamps while the chain is connected to the supply
- overload sockets - try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors
- attempt to repair faulty lights - replace them
- use lights that are damaged or faulty
Electrical Safety First recommends the use of LED over traditional filament Christmas lighting because:
- They operate at extra-low voltage which significantly reduces the risk of electric shock.
- They use much less power, generating little heat and so reducing the risk of fire and burns. This makes them safer to use.
- They are estimated to use 80-90% less electricity than filament lamps so they are less expensive to run and typically last up to 60 times longer.
- They are more durable. Because LED lights are made of a special plastic with no filament, there are no glass lamps to break.
- They are a great deal more efficient to run and good at saving energy so are more environmentally friendly.