Cable safety for Christmas lighting

With over half of us using the same Christmas lights every year without checking them, here are some tips on Cable safety for Christmas lighting.

  1. Safer LED lights are now widely available that run off batteries rather than the mains.
  2. When buying lights check that they are CE marked and preferably have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  3. Only use lights outdoors that are specifically marked as suitable.  Make sure that all cables and connections (including extension leads) are protected from rain penetration.
  4. If you have old Christmas lights, consider buying new LED lights, which should be safer and more reliable.
  5. Any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections, should be replaced.
  6. Do not be tempted to use makeshift wiring for lights or to string several sets of lights together. If more (or fewer) lights are required, obtain a set to suit your needs.  
  7. Check mains plugs or transformers for any cracks or fractures, and that they have the correct rated fuse.
  8. Check the cable emerging from the plug and the entire length of the lighting for signs of stretching or damage, and that no bare wires are visible.
  9. Don’t overload extension sockets.
  10. Don’t run cables under carpet, as this is a fire risk.
  11. Always turn off Christmas lights before leaving home or going to bed.