Acting Inspector Barry Thompson.
Acting Inspector Barry Thompson.

Firey’s warning to CQ Christmas decorators

QUEENSLAND Fire and Emergency Services has warned residents to be wary of the potential dangers that come with annual Christmas decorations.

Acting Inspector Barry Thompson said today that for peace of mind, especially if decorative lights were to be kept on during the night, everybody should double check appliances used to light up their homes for the festive season.

"In relation to the Christmas period, obviously we see an increase of Christmas lights being put up around homes and in yards," he said.

"Our message to people is just make sure that that equipment that is being put up is in good condition.

"All you need is something like a thin curtain to be blown across, there's ignition, next thing there's a fire in the room."

Mr Thompson said that most of the time Christmas lights were safe, but exposed wires and overheating were telltale signs something could go wrong.

Outdoor lighting, he said, was perhaps more at risk, as heat could begin to deteriorate the protective coating around decorations.

"Things like double adapters and small powerboards, extension leads, and the lights themselves, if anything feels that it's quite warm or overheated, at that time that equipment definitely needs to be checked by a qualified electrician," Mr Thompson said.

"All the lights themselves are coated in plastic and different coatings, and they can burn extremely well and give off toxic smoke, so it doesn't take too long and too much heat for that to occur.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the time, they're quite safe, but there is that slight possibility that there could be a fault."



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