Fire services calling for diligence when decorating this Christmas

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Victorians are once again detangling Christmas lights to brighten up their homes for the festive season, but the holiday cheer comes with a warning from Victorian fire services, cautioning lights need to be checked before use.


The combination of damaged lights, tinsel, paper and Christmas trees can present a fire risk for families. 

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said people should check their Christmas lights are in good working order before they decorate their trees and homes.

“Christmas lights are a favourite past-time for many families, but wear and tear can mean wires can fray, bulbs get damaged, and they aren’t in good working order for the tree or your home,” he said. 

“Turn your lights off before you go to sleep or leave the house to ensure they don’t overheat and consider using battery operated or solar lights that don’t require electricity.” 

Fire Rescue Commissioner Gavin Freeman AFSM said it was also important that people took care of any Christmas decorations containing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

“This year, we expect that many families will be decking the halls with items containing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries,” Commissioner Freeman said.

“All we want for Christmas is for people to use these products safely, as we have seen a rise in fires caused by rechargeable batteries of late.

“Only buy products from reputable suppliers, use the charging cords supplied with the device and only charge items outdoors or in rooms with a smoke alarm.”

 Christmas fire safety tips 

  • When buying Christmas lights, make sure they have the Regulatory Compliance Mark tick of approval. 
  • Consider using battery-operated LED or solar lights which don’t require electricity. 
  • Inspect your Christmas lights for any sign of damage or wear and tear. Make sure there’s no exposed wiring and that there are no missing globes. 
  • Don’t overload power boards; use no more than three sets of lights per power board, even if there are four or more outlets on it, and avoid using double adaptors. 
  • Place your tree as far as possible from any heat source, curtains or furnishings. 
  • For further information on lithium-ion battery safety, visit

CFA Media: 1300 232 633 or

FRV Media: 1300 173 744 or


Submitted by CFA Media