By Clarissa Allison | December 4th, 2015
Many people celebrate the holiday season by draping lighting decorations inside their home and yard. Yet, if sufficient care is not taken, these items can be a fire hazard. Did you know that one out of three Christmas tree fires is caused by preventable electrical problems?
To help ensure a safe and happy season, remember these Holiday lighting safety tips:
- Before buying a live Christmas tree, conduct a three-part stress test, recommends the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A fresh tree has needles that resist being pulled off and do not snap when bent, a trunk bottom that’s sticky with resin, and strong limbs that will drop just a few needles if shaken.
- Don’t assume your lights are in good condition because they worked last year. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords – don’t try to repair them with black electrical tape! Before changing a burned-out bulb, unplug the lights.
- Your source of power should come from a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This type of outlet will shut the circuit down if there is overcurrent. If you don’t have a GFCI outlet, a qualified electrician can permanently install one outdoors for holiday seasons to come.
- Consider using LED lights. They last up to 20 times longer than traditional incandescent lights, and generate less heat – so they are safer and more energy efficient. While they may be more expensive than other types of lighting, you’ll recover some of that cost through lower electric usage.
- Beware of buying Christmas lights online from other countries. Other countries have different electrical systems and safety standards and the products may be unsafe for use in Australia. Remember, if it doesn’t have an Australian type plug, the Christmas lights will not be approved for use in Australia
- Don’t overload circuits with too many strings of lights, decorations or appliances. Check the packaging for the maximum number of strings that can be connected together. Generally, no more than three strands of mini-lights or 50 screw-in bulbs on light strings should be connected to any cord or outlet.
- A dry tree will burn faster than one that’s been watered, according to John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at Underwriters Lab, an independent safety science company. Check the water level of your tree daily and keep it in a vessel that can hold an adequate water supply. To test to see if your tree is sufficiently hydrated, give a branch a gentle tug and see if any needles break, h
- Finally, don’t forget to turn off all lights when you go away or retire for the night.
Stay informed this Holiday season with the above safety tips. If you need help selecting the right lighting for your home, please contact the Louie Lighting team at 1877 385 2104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a wonderful weekend!