Play safe with lights

Emergency services are warning residents of the dangers of festive Christmas lights.

By Derek Schlennstedt

Emergency services are urging Victorians to celebrate the festive season safely and avoid firefighters crashing their Christmas.
Fairy lights are a festive favourite, but without proper precautions these twinkling decorations can spark a fire.
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said electrical fires were among the top causes of house fires each year, but could easily be avoided by establishing some simple safety measures.
“Before putting up your Christmas lights, check that the lights are in good working order and have no missing bulbs or frayed cords,” CFA Chief Officer Warrington said.
“Never place lights too close to tinsel and flammable decorations or your tree may go up in smoke,” he said.
Melbourne Fire Brigade Acting Chief Officer Greg Leach said firefighters attended several fires involving Christmas trees last season.
“The last thing you want is for firefighters to be called to your house this Christmas,” MFB Chief Officer Leach said.
“If you are using fairy lights, take care not to overload power points or piggy back adapters.
“Always turn your Christmas lights off when leaving the house or before going to bed to ensure they don’t overheat.
“And most importantly of all, ensure you have working smoke alarms to alert you in the event of a fire,” he said.