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Don’t let lights turn into flames
CFA is encouraging families to have a closer look at their Christmas tree or fairy lights this year and attend to any signs of wear and tear – such as missing globes or frayed wiring – by ditching old lights or buying replacements.
Natural Christmas trees need special care, because they are extremely flammable when they dry out, says CFA home fire safety expert Chris Barber, who warns that electrical faults are one of the top three causes of household fires each year, with overloaded power boards a common culprit.
For families that like to go to town with their indoor or outdoor fairy light displays, there are a few simple rules to follow to make sure that it will be Santa, not the fire brigade, visiting your home this festive season.
“Even if there are four or more outlets on your power board, there should be no more than three sets of lights per power board, and you should never use double adaptors,” says Chris.
“Also, resist the temptation to put rugs or mats over the top of wires running across the floor, even if wires are unsightly.”
Top tips to keep fire out of your home this Christmas:
1. Inspect your Christmas lights and fairy lights for any sign of damage or wear and tear.
2. Don’t use light sets with missing globes.
3. LED Christmas lights do not get as hot and use less power.
4. Use no more than three sets of lights per power board, even if there are four or more outlets on it. Avoid using double adaptors.
5. Make sure electric cords are completely uncoiled and are not placed under rugs or mats.
6. Place your tree as far as possible from any heat source, curtains or furnishings.
7. Maintain water in the base of natural Christmas trees to stop them drying out and remove lights once they show signs of drying.
8. Take care with candles, incense sticks and oil burners. Always make sure they are away from flammable items such as curtains and that they cannot be knocked over.
9. Always keep matches, candles and lighters away from infants and small children.
10. Check that your smoke alarms are working. Christmas tree fires can generate a lot of heat quickly and spread to the rest of the house.