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Ditch dodgy light displays


Santa’s Christmas helpers have been urged to take every precaution to protect Australian children from dodgy Christmas light displays this festive season.

Electrical industry and safety advocates Master Electricians Australia issued an alert to consumers to take extra care purchasing and installing Christmas light displays.

“We’re seeing more and more people get into the festive spirit to light up the neighbourhood but unfortunately, more people are also buying suspect LED lights from overseas or installing lighting without the safety backup necessary to provide adequate protection,’’ Master Electricians Australia Chief Executive, Malcolm Richards, said.

“Kids love these displays but that’s why homeowners need to make sure they have the right layers of safety protection in place to prevent any accidents.’’

Master Electricians Australia provided a Christmas safety checklist, which includes:

  1. Checking for an Australian approval number when purchasing lights such as Q12345, V01294 or N12345 – most times this is on the transformer.
  2. Visiting recalls.gov.au to check for any recalled Christmas lights – even the best retailers’ issue these from time to time.
  3. Ensure you have safety switches installed – preferably on all circuits in your home, but definitely on the circuits powering your Christmas lights. Check they work by pushing the test button and seeing the lights go out.
  4. Only use lights designed for external use. Generally, these types will have a transformer.
  5. Ensure your outdoor connections are weatherproofed.
  6. Keep clear of powerlines, swimming pools, driveways and walkways
  7. Go solar if you can – it’s better for the environment, and safer for you.
  8. Do not run 240-volt cabling to outside garden beds and lighting.
  9. Install smoke detectors around the house, if you haven’t already.
  10. Secure outdoor lights to fixtures and keep out of children’s reach.

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