Is Christmas a High Risk Time for Home Fires?…Definitely!
Don’t get me wrong…Christmas is a wonderful time of year but don’t let your Christmas be ruined by dodgy lights. We all get together with our family and friends, share amazing meals, spend time together and delight in the twinkling of colourful lights in the summer breeze. But all too often, the joy of Christmas can be quickly taken away by the damage caused from incorrectly installed or faulty Christmas lights and decorations.
According to recent studies, the festive season is a high-risk period for home fires, with fires caused by electrical faults on the rise. Luckily there are some steps you can take to make sure your Christmas is well lit and not lit up.
1. Is that a safety mark I see?
With so many shops and online stores selling decorative lights, the choices can seem endless. However, while price is often a factor, one thing you need to be mindful of is whether the lights have been tested for safety and have an Australian Standards label. Normally this will be located somewhere on the lighting product. Find more information on buying approved electrical equipment.
2. Inside, outside
This may seem like a no-brainer, but under no circumstances should indoor decorative lights be used outside. If you wish to decorate the outside of your home, check the lights are designed for exterior use and follow the installation instructions. It is usually safe, however, to use outdoor lights inside your home.
3. Check your lights
When you’ve pulled out your tried and true lights from the garage or shed, ensure you check them for visible signs of damage to cords or plugs. Also check if any of the globes are burnt out or loose. If there is any sign of damage make sure you replace the lights.
You also need to be mindful of faults even if you’ve gone out and bought some brand new lights. As with old lights, check for loose or missing bulbs. If you do find any damaged or missing bulbs, never replace them while the lights are connected to electricity.
4. Installing your lights
When installing your lights, both inside the home and outside, you need to take proper safety precautions like making sure they’re not placed near anything flammable or that you don’t overload power points, both of which are a common cause of fire. Read these handy tips on installing lights safely.
5. Candle, candle burning bright
Candles are a common way to both add flair to your Christmas decorations and some muted, romantic light. Sadly, they’re also a common starter of fires. Make sure you place your candles in a secure position, well out of the reach of children and pets and away from other flammable decorations.
Don’t get complacent this year and think it can’t happen to you. To discuss Home Insurance or to get a quote, contact us today.