Christmas lights a festive fire risk

As Queenslanders decorate their homes for the festive season, RACQ has issued a warning about the fire risk of aged, faulty or incorrectly installed lights and electrical decorations.

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RACQ’s Kirsty Clinton said research showed almost half of all home fires were caused by electrical faults.

“It’s important people are vigilant as they begin to decorate their homes for the festive season,” Ms Clinton said.

“When you get your decorations out for Christmas, make sure you’re performing simple safety checks before you plug anything in – it’ll help protect your home from potential fire.

“It’s important to 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.

“When setting up fairy lights and other electrical decorations, never overload power boards by piggy-backing 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, for example, indoor lights should never be used outside.”

Ms Clinton said the placement of Christmas lights should also be carefully considered.

“Lights generate significant levels of heat and shouldn’t be positioned next to paper or other flammable decorations,” she said.

“We also recommend not leaving lights on unattended for long periods, particularly overnight, or if nobody’s home.”

To protect your home from fire damage, consider RACQ Home and Content insurance.

Insurance products issued by RACQ Insurance Limited ABN 50 009 704 152. Conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please read the PDS before making a purchase decision on this product. Ask us for a copy.