Fes­tive lights a con­cern

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS -

WITH Christ­mas fast ap­proach­ing, Queenslanders have been warned to put safety first as new re­search re­vealed the se­ri­ous fire risks posed by unchecked Christ­mas lights and dec­o­ra­tions.

RACQ spokes­woman 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 each year.

“Our re­search shows al­most 60 per cent of Queenslanders plan to dec­o­rate their homes for the fes­tive sea­son,’’ Ms Clin­ton said..

“With home fires a se­ri­ous risk, we’re urg­ing ev­ery­one to per­form a few sim­ple safety checks be­fore in­stalling lights, and to al­ways fol­low proper safety in­struc­tions.

“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. Make sure lights have no signs of rust and are not ex­ces­sively dusty.

“When set­ting up elec­tri­cal dec­o­ra­tions, never over­load power boards by piggy-back dou­ble adap­tors – only one item per socket should be used.

“It’s also es­sen­tial all lights pur­chased have an Aus­tralian Stan­dards la­bel and are used for their cor­rect pur­pose.’’

The place­ment of lights should be care­fully con­sid­ered. “Lights gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant heat and shouldn’t be po­si­tioned next to pa­per or other flammable dec­o­ra­tions.”

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