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Stay electrically safe installing Christmas lights this weekend

Published: 28 Nov 2019 10:00am

It’s that time of year when people channel their inner Clark Griswold and begin the ritual of setting up Christmas lights and other powered decorations in and around their homes and workplaces.

Before plugging them in, Ergon Energy is urging those in the festive mood to put their safety first and take a few precautions.

Dangers such as electrocution and possible house fires caused by faulty electrical equipment are just two hazards Ergon Safety Advisor Kevin Hore said should be at the forefront of people’s minds when getting their home ready for Santa’s impending visit.

“At the end of the day Christmas lights and similar decorations are still electrical appliances and people should always treat them as they would any appliance in their home,” Kevin said.

“Most of us throw away home appliances that are damaged or faulty or have them repaired by a qualified technician.

“Christmas lights and decorations are no different because damaged ones can kill or start fires.

“So before plugging them in check for signs of obvious damage, such as frayed cords and exposed wires.

“If you’re satisfied they’re in good condition then plug them in and stay with them for five or more minutes to check concealed or less obvious faults aren’t at play and there’s no burning smell or smoke emanating from them.”

Kevin said ensuring your powered decorations were designed for the environment you’re using them in would help prevent electrical hazards.

“Quality decorations should always specify if they’re built for indoor or outdoor use,” Kevin said.

“Obviously outdoor lights are fine to use inside, but lights built for indoor use only will cause electrical issues if you use them on the exterior of your property – particularly if they’re rained on or exposed to the elements.”

Mr Hore also warned people who are setting up lights at height they should set the ladder on a stable flat surface and have someone on hand to hold it for them.

“You may think you’re only up the ladder for a few minutes, but the reality is it only takes a split second for it to move and for you to suffer a serious fall,” he said.

“Christmas is about spending quality time with loved ones and there’s no better way to do so than ensuring you take a few safety precautions beforehand.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079