With Christmas lights being put up and switched on around the region, RACQ has moved to remind residents of the potential fire risk caused by the festive season tradition.
RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton warned aged, faulty or incorrectly installed lights and electronic decorations posed a serious safety threat to families if basic safety checks were not performed Christmas.
“RACQ research shows 48 percent of home fires experienced by respondents were caused by electrical faults, so it’s important people are vigilant as they begin to decorate their homes for Christmas,” she said.
“There are some simple safety checks people should be doing each year to protect their home from potential fire.
“When setting up fairy lights and other electrical decorations, never overload power boards by piggy-backing double adaptors, only one item per socket should be used.
“It’s also important to take a moment to inspect lights for any visible signs of damage to cords or plugs, as they can become frayed and broken after years of use or while in storage during the year.
“It’s also essential all lights purchased have an Australian standards label and are used for their correct purpose, for example, indoor lights should never be used outside.”
Ms Clinton said the placement of Christmas lights should also be carefully considered before they are set up and turned on.
“Lights generate significant levels of heat and shouldn’t be positioned next to paper or other flammable decorations,” she said.
“We also recommend not leaving lights on unattended for long periods, particularly if nobody is home or overnight.”