Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
10 tips on installing Christmas lights safely
You’ve been driving around the neighbourhood and have been inspired to flood the night with light this Christmas. Before you start stapling millions of globes to your roof, there are some things you need to be mindful of to ensure you don’t fire up the red lights of a fire engine as it speeds to your door:
- check your lights for signs of damage such as loose or frayed wiring or plugs and burnt out bulbs
- if using new lights, never turn them on while still in the box – even if you just want to test them
- never use lights intended for interior use outdoors
- always keep them away from anything flammable, such as paper, cardboard or curtains
- never place your lights near foil decorations or tinsel
- use plastic hooks to mount your lights instead of nails, staples or screws
- never connect one set of lights to another unless they’re designed for that purpose
- when installing exterior lights, plug the light set into an earthed power point that is protected by a safety switch. If you don’t have safety switches in your home, use a portable safety switch
- unless they’re designed for outdoor use, always put transformers and light changing controllers indoors to keep them protected from the elements
- never overload power points – this is one of the most common ways fires start. The normal capacity for a power point is up to 2,300 watts so be mindful of how much load you’re placing on the point.
More tips on safe Christmas lights here.