Beware dodgy Christmas tree lights

Western Australians have been encouraged to ensure their Christmas lights are approved, safe and in good working order this holiday season.

Acting Director of Energy Safety Saj Khan today advised consumers to check their Christmas lights before use to ensure they were safe and being used correctly.

“Decorating with Christmas tree and fairy lights is a common tradition during the festive season but, used incorrectly, these lights can cause electric shocks and fires,” he said.

“Always ensure lights, extension cords and powerboards are suitable for the situation in which you intend to use them – use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors.”

“Damaged lights can be dangerous, so before using last year’s Christmas lights they should be unravelled and the plug, leads and lamp holders checked for exposed wires or obvious damage.

“Be wary of purchasing lights over the internet from overseas – they may not comply with Australian safety standards.

“Just like other electrical equipment and appliances, Christmas lights must meet safety standards and require Australian certification before being sold in WA.

“Always check for the regulatory compliance logo or other Australian compliance marks, usually found on a plastic tag near the plug or on the transformer,” Mr Khan said.

“If hanging lights outside, keep a safe distance from any power lines, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Tips for safe use of Christmas lights:

  •  Check old Christmas lights before reusing them. Before hanging lights on your tree, check they are in good working order, show no damage and are  untangled.
  •  Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  •  Ensure all lights, extension leads and power boards are suitable for the intended use (e.g. indoor use only or suitable for outdoors).
  •  Don't alter or modify lights.
  •  Turn off power points or light switches before replacing light bulbs.
  •  Test your residual current devices (RCDs) to make sure they are working.
  •  Always turn off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving your house.

For further information on the safe use of electricity, visit the EnergySafety website at

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

Building and Energy
Media release
13 Dec 2017

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