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Friday, November 18, 2011

Energex says: "Leave the roof to Santa this Christmas"

ENERGEX is urging customers to put safety first when decorating their homes and businesses for Christmas. 

ENERGEX’s Safety Director Daryl Rowberry said there were a few simple steps people could take when installing and using Christmas lighting to keep themselves, their family and friends safe. 

“We want to help Queenslanders get into the Christmas spirit in the safest way possible,” Mr Rowberry said. 

“It’s vital that when placing Christmas lights outside that care is taken to avoid contact with external electrical cables and overhead wires, including the electricity supply line to the home. 

“We’re urging customers to leave the roof to Santa this Christmas if the home has an overhead service line. 

“Homes can be impressively decked out for the festive season without putting decorations on the roof. 

“It’s important to only use lights outside that are classed by the manufacturer as suitable for external use as they have extra protection against moisture and dust, and ensure all outdoor connections are weatherproofed.” 

Mr Rowberry also urged people to check the electrical safety of their Christmas decorations before putting them up. 

“Before installing Christmas lights people should check that wires, fittings and lights are in good working order,” he said. 

“If they appear to be faulty or you have concerns, either have the lights checked and repaired by a qualified electrician or simply throw them out. The only safe place for damaged electrical equipment is in the rubbish bin. 

“When setting up Christmas lights ensure they are low voltage lights and use a quality powerboard for multiple plugs rather than a double adaptor. 

“If bulbs need replacing, switch the lights off at the power point and use the correct replacement globe as using incorrect globes may create an electrical hazard. [Soft Break] 

“Always use a licensed electrician to carry out any changes to your electrical wiring that may be necessary to install Christmas lights and to check that circuits will not be overloaded.” 

ENERGEX understands that decorative lights are a big part of the festive season for many Queenslanders, but sadly in recent years faulty fairy lights have caused fires which have led to homes being destroyed and lives ruined. 

Mr Rowberry also highlighted that the standard string of low voltage Christmas lights were relatively low power users and would have little impact on overall power use in the home during the festive season. 

“Standard Christmas lights use far less electricity than family home features such as a fridge, hot water system, air conditioner or fans, computer, television or washing machine,” he said. 

“If home owners are worried about their power use rising this Christmas but still want to enjoy their festive lights, we’d encourage people to switch off any electrical equipment which has been left unused in the standby mode – not only will that drop power use but will also improve safety.” 

For more tips on the safe use of Christmas lights visit