Christmas is just around the corner and everybody will be decorating their homes and making everything ready for the big day.. A lot of us tend to stick to holiday themes or colour palettes but a lot of us also never think about safety when it comes to decorating. Most Christmas decorations include Christmas lights and for many years, substandard ones have been the cause of many unfortunate events during the holiday season.  

We all agree that Christmas lights are very captivating. They are wonderful to behold but they can also pose a threat to your safety if installed and stored improperly. 

Faulty Christmas lights have caused many home fires over the years, resulting in millions of pounds worth of damages to property. Fires are also not the only concern when it comes to these colourful lights. A lot of injuries have been sustained while installing them. For instance, people falling from the ladder while installing them, tripping over the electrical wires, causing contusions, sprains, lacerations and fractures. 

Experiencing such calamities is no way of welcoming the holiday season. To prevent this from happening to you, take the time to learn more about the correct installation, and removal of Christmas lights. 

If you are tempted to buy very cheap Christmas lights, stop and think about it, are they really safe? Read on and find out how you can choose the most safe, appropriate and energy efficient Christmas lights for your home. 

Throw away your old Christmas lights. If you have been using the same Christmas lights for many years, perhaps it’s time for you to get an upgrade. If your old Christmas lights have a great sentimental value to you and your family, you can keep it in storage but don’t use it as part of your decoration. If you continue to use old ones, there is a great chance of it having exposed wires, frayed cords or damages due to years of wear and tear. 

Go and get yourself a new set of lights.They come in a variety of options that will suit your taste. On top of that, the new lights are manufactured under modern safety standards which means they are much safer and more efficient to use compared to your old ones.  

Use white lights. So that your lights will pop out and look good with your other Christmas decor, going for white lights is a great option, especially if you are planning to use the same lights every year. If you tend to change your colour themes each year, buying multicoloured lights won’t be a great financial decision as well. 

Make sure they are certified safe. Whenever you purchase some Christmas lights, look for safety marks and certifications. This is one way of knowing that your lights have been tested and their performance has passed the safety standards. In Europe, the CE mark is a basic requirement while the BSI Kitemark means the lights have undergone a more comprehensive check for quality and safety.   

Use the lights according to their specific purpose. Interchangeable use of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights is not a safe thing to do. Outdoor Christmas lights are water-resistant and are mostly designed to be plugged in a GFCI power socket. They are also built to resist snowy weather. So if you are planning to decorate your garden, choose outdoor Christmas lights. 

Choose LED christmas lights. As compared to CFL Bulbs, LED lights are much safer because they produce a minimal amount of heat and shine 50% brighter. LED Christmas lights come in a variety of options: some are curtain-type while other lights are short and some may go as long as 7 metres. 

Why is the use of LED lights highly recommended? Firstly, these lights utilise extra-low voltage which means you have a very low risk of experiencing electrical shock. Secondly, they utilise less power as compared to traditional lights, so less heat is generated and the risk for burns and fires are greatly reduced as well. Thirdly, they use 80 to 90 per cent less electricity which means that they are cheaper to run and can last longer than traditional ones. Fourth, they are made with durable plastic and contain no filament which eliminates the risk of exposing you to breaking glass bulbs. Finally, because they are energy efficient, it means that choosing them over traditional Christmas lights is more environmentally friendly. 

Hang them properly and carefully. As you already know by now, safety is our number one priority. Make sure that the wires are not exposed to areas with heavy foot traffic so you do not cause a trip hazard. If installing them near windows and doors, make sure the wires are not feeding through them to avoid them from being snapped. When installing them all throughout your house, do not use screws or nails. Use clips instead. 

While installing the lights using a ladder, make sure that another person is spotting you. To keep your lights from becoming a fire hazard, do not overload your Christmas tree with them and if you have purchased a real tree make sure that it is kept well watered so it does not dry up. 

Whether  you love a real tree or prefer an artificial one, you must always make sure you turn your christmas lights on when leaving the house or going to bed. 

As soon as the holiday season is over, it’s time to pack them away safely. Before putting them inside their boxes, make sure to untangle the wires. Put the box in a safe and dry area of your home.

While installing your Christmas lights, if you find out that your electrical system needs testing, partial or full rewiring, you need a certified and licenced electrician to handle that for you.

If you live in Swindon and the surrounding areas, call on EJS Electrical for all your electrical requirements. To enquire or book a service, feel free to call them on 01793 238806 or 07725 228145 or send an email on info@ejselectrical.co.uk