Safest festive lighting

CONSUMERS are reminded to take care when buying or installing Christmas lights this festive season.

The National Electrical and Communications Association has urged shoppers to only buy compliant electrical products.

NECA spokesman Dominic Feenan said shoppers needed to exercise caution when buying products manufactured overseas. "It's a concern at this time of the year, when Christmas lights and other electrical items appear in stores and on the internet, as many do not comply with Australian standards," Mr Feenan said. NECA issued the following safety tips:

1 . Look up and around: When installing Christmas lights and decorations, make sure there are no overheard power lines or exposed wiring near where you are working.

2. Indoor or outdoor lights: Many Christmas lights are designed specifically for indoor use and it is important to only use them inside and not in areas where they would be exposed to weather.

3. Use compliant products: Buy Christmas lights from reputable stores and ensure they comply with Australian standards or have a compliance mark or an approval number.

4. Educate children: Explain electrical safety to children.

5. Avoid use in bad weather: During heavy rain and high winds, turn off Christmas lights.

6. Never modify electrical products: It is illegal and dangerous for unlicensed people to carry out modifications to electrical installations or electrical products.

7. Install a safety switch: Safety switches are an added safety measure that prevents electrocution.

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