Festive lights: The more the merrier, but safety must always come first

If, like many, you want to be completely assured that Santa Clause and his cheerful herd of flying reindeer don’t bypass your humble family home this Christmas you may be considering covering your house from doorstep to chimney/solar panel in festive LEDs. Ol’ Saint Nick will certainly appreciate the advantages of coming-in-to-land on a well-lit roof or lawn, but we must take every precaution to ensure the safety of our families first. Here’s how you can avoid the hazards…
To begin, once you’ve got your Christmas lights give them the once-over safety check. If you’re planning to use the lights on a tree, then be certain that they are intended for use with trees. Many house fires start with the improper use of festive lights. Always ensure that the lights that you intend to use outside are suitable for outside use. They should be powered directly from a house outlet and remember that using double-stacked adaptors will overload circuits and are always a potential fire risk.
In addition, it is wise to consider that certain areas of your house will be using different circuits. The living room and the kitchen may be on one circuit for example whereas the bathroom and or bedrooms may be on a different on. Using the electrical layout of our homes means we can effectively spread out the use of power throughout the house. Kids will be attracted to pretty much any festive decorations but especially colourful blinking lights so be extra careful with lights that are within reach of toddlers. They should be extra low voltage and loose wiring should be secured to avoid trapping/choking.
Finally, many outside decoration jobs require the use of a ladder. Make sure that you’ve got the right size of ladder for the job. There have been a lot of accidents on building sites due to people over stretching and over reaching on ladders. And of course, we all remember Molly Meldrum’s life-threatening fall from a ladder last year, he too was installing festive lights.
When you over stretch you shift your weight on the ladder and you can fall off easily. Do not go too high on a ladder. Only go to third step down from the very top of the ladder. When using extension ladders, the extension should go past the point of where you are trying to get to. So if you’ve got to get up to the roof, the extension should reach beyond the roof angle. This is so t you can keep two hands on the ladder at all times.
Should you feel uncomfortable putting up your festive lights and would like our professional help to protect you, your family and your circuits, just give us a call and we can send someone out.
So there we have it, a few essential tips on making the most of those festive lights and using them in the safest way possible.