- Only buy Christmas lights marked with a safety standard
- Make sure a competent person checks all connections and examines the wiring for fraying
- If in doubt, throw them out.
- Don’t overload sockets
- Unplug all Christmas lights and electrical appliances before leaving your home or going to bed
- Ensure lights are suitable for outdoor use
- Check all wiring and follow manufacturers instructions.
- Fasten the bulbs securely and point the sockets down to avoid moisture building up.
- Never use indoor extension leads outside.
- Keep outdoor electrical connections above ground and out of puddles and snow.
- Ensure trees hung with Christmas lights are not touching power lines
An Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs (ODCA) survey found that consumers are exposed to serious risk due to the lack of advice when using candles and candle-holders. Of the 482 items inspected 117 or 24.3% failed a visual risk assessment either due to lack of warnings, warnings not provided in English or because the items clearly presented a safety hazard.
Remember when it comes to candles:
- Keep them out of reach of children and pets
- Trim the wick to 6mm (1/4 inch) each time before burning
- Always use an appropriate candleholder placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents
- Extinguish a candle if it smokes or flickers repeatedly or if the flame becomes too high
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
- Do not burn a candle for longer than manufacturer recommends
- Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container
- Place lighted candles at least 75mm apart form one another
- Never place a candle on top of a TV set and keep well away from curtains
- Always extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed
- Never use candles on Christmas trees, even artificial ones
- Remember hot wax burns!
Other Christmas Fire Safety Tips
- Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace
- Keep strings of Christmas cards away from candles and open fires
- Fit a spark guard in front of open fires
- Extinguish cigarettes properly and do not let ashtrays get overfilled
- Check that your smoke alarms are in perfect working order
- Never remove batteries from smoke alarm to use in children’s toys
- Clean out the oven and stove prior to Christmas