Safety Checks When Setting Up Your Christmas Lights
Christmas is a magical time of year – everywhere is lit up and feeling festive, but with all these Christmas lights comes an increased risk of fire. This is why making sure you have correctly installed your Christmas lights could save your Christmas celebrations from going up in smoke and save lives.
The UK government records an increase in the number of accidental fires over the Christmas period since 2008, along with a YouTube video that shows just how quickly it can all go wrong with the use of fairy lights, lit candles and highly flammable Christmas decorations. At iFast, we’ve put together a comprehensive safety list for setting up your Christmas lights, so you can enjoy the celebrations.
- Before you begin setting up your lights, always make sure you check the sets are in full working order and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep an eye out for any loose wires, damaged bulbs or broken connections and make sure they conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
- If you have any failed lamps, replace them immediately to avoid overheating, and be sure to replace them with the same type and rating as those originally supplied with the lights.
If you’re in any doubt about faulty connections or old Christmas light sets, simply throw them away and replace them with newer ones.
- An all too common mistake with Christmas lights, is people overloading a socket. Whilst it may look pretty with as many lights as possible, bear in mind that it should be only one set of lights per socket.
- When you’re not in the building, always make sure a member of staff is responsible for turning all Christmas lights off at the socket.
- If you’re putting lights up on a Christmas tree or anywhere else for that matter, remember that the lights, despite being small, get very hot, so keeping them away from flammable Christmas decorations is key when it comes to fire risk assessments.
- If you want to put Christmas lights outside, only use outdoor lights and connect them via an RCD (residual current device) protected socket.
- Ensure that your employees are fully equipped with fire safety training, by sending them on a fire safety awareness course, as there is increased risk of a fire with Christmas lights.
Christmas should be a time of fun, enjoyment and celebration and by following these simple yet vital checks on your Christmas lights, will mean you can have peace of mind during the festivities.
We provide fire safety training courses that are specifically designed to give you the correct knowledge and skills to carry out effective fire risk assessment and cope with a fire emergency.