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Christmas light safety warning

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AS more people start to decorate their homes with festive fairy lights in the lead up to Christmas, the Country Fire Authority, CFA, is reminding people to check the wiring and placement of their lights to prevent fires.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said it was important for people to take precautionary steps to minimise the risk of electrical fires.

“Before setting your lights up, make sure the wiring is intact, check there are no missing bulbs or frayed cords and the lights are in good, working order,” he said.

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“When plugging in your lights, remember not to overload power boards, and make sure electrical cords are not covered by a rug or mat. Tinsel and other festive decorations will be abundant but placing lights too close to these items can present a fire risk.

“Remember to turn your Christmas lights off when leaving the house or before going to bed to ensure they don’t overheat.”

The CFA has provided a range of Christmas light tips to help keep safe over the holidays, including to consider using battery-operated LED or solar lights, which do not use electricity; use appropriate lights and fittings for outdoor use; ensure meter boxes have a safety switch installed; place trees as far as possible from any heat source, curtains or furnishings; and make sure smoke alarms are working in all bedrooms, living areas and hallways.

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