Life

Tips on how to keep you and your family safe around Christmas lights

No one wants Christmas ruined by dodgy old Christmas lights catching on fire. Experts reveal everything you need to know...

Consider buying new lights of a high safety standard rather than reusing ones that you've had for years

THE Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), has the following safety advice for using 'fairy' lights:

:: If you have old lights, consider buying new ones which will meet much higher safety standards

:: Look for safety marks, eg BS Kitemark

:: Buy from a reputable store

:: Avoid buying second-hand unless you have them professionally checked first

:: Never insert or remove bulbs when switched on

:: Inspect cables and bulbs for damage

:: Don't use lights that are damaged – dispose of them safely

:: Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions

:: Use an RCD (residual current device) for added protection against shock

:: Only use lights outdoors that are specifically made for such use

:: Don't run the cable under carpets or where it can be damaged

:: Keep lights clear of decorations and other flammable materials

:: Avoid cables becoming a tripping hazard

:: Use a stable support when hanging the lights

:: Don't leave the lights on when the room is empty. Remember to switch them off when you go to bed and when you leave the house

:: Don't let children play with lights

:: Take care when dismantling and packing the lights not to damage them. Keep them safely stored away out of reach of children

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