Christmas lights safety warning

The UK’s biggest electricity distributor is reminding people adding Christmas lights to the outside of their homes this festive season to put safety first.

While you still need to take care not to overload indoor electricity sockets when adding fairy lights, the growing trend for increasingly grand displays outside can also bring risks.

As the festive season gets underway, UK Power Networks wants everyone entering the Christmas spirit, to celebrate safely.

Debbie Chachulski, an education and engagement advisor at UK Power Networks, has a number of tips to help people put up their decorations stay safe and ensure their Christmas is not ruined.

She says: “This year many people are getting into the festive spirit and putting up their Christmas lights earlier than usual, and we encourage them to follow our simple advice to stay safe.

“If you are installing lights, be sure to take care and keep well away from any cables you may see coming into your property, as our electricity lines are sometimes mistaken for phone lines. Anything that gets close to a live overhead electricity power line, can conduct electricity which can injure or kill, even at a domestic voltage.

“Extra care should be taken to avoid power lines that are a bit less obvious, for example if they come from another property to serve several homes, and are clipped along the front of your property.”

10 top tips for a safe Christmas lights switch on, are:

  • Look up and keep your ladder clear of power lines
  • Position the ladder on a stable surface
  • Discard any old festive lights with frayed wires
  • Replace old lights with new low voltage lights
  • Check lighting used outdoors is designed for outdoor use
  • Use a residual current device (RCD) which will interrupt the power if it detects a problem
  • Keep water away from wiring when watering a real Christmas tree
  • Avoid trailing wires by positioning your tree near a power socket
  • Avoid overloading plug sockets
  • Switch fairy lights off when going out or to bed

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