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.
- Safer LED lights are now widely available that run off batteries rather than the mains.
- When buying lights check that they are CE marked and preferably have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
- 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.
- If you have old Christmas lights, consider buying new LED lights, which should be safer and more reliable.
- Any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections, should be replaced.
- 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.
- Check mains plugs or transformers for any cracks or fractures, and that they have the correct rated fuse.
- 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.
- Don’t overload extension sockets.
- Don’t run cables under carpet, as this is a fire risk.
- Always turn off Christmas lights before leaving home or going to bed.