The holiday season is a time when many homes and workplaces are decorated with twinkling lights and electrical displays. However, according to New South Wales Fire and Rescue, improper use of lights can pose a serious fire hazard. Let’s explore some essential fire safety tips to ensure a safe holiday season for you, your loved ones and your community.

Don’t overload it

Overloading electrical power boards is a serious safety concern that significantly increases the risk of electrical fires. Plugging too many devices into a single power board can lead to overheating, melting of components, and ultimately, a potential fire hazard. Electrical circuits are designed to handle a specific amount of current, and exceeding that limit can cause the insulation on wires to deteriorate, creating a pathway for sparks and flames.

Distributing devices across multiple outlets and employing power boards with surge protection can also reduce the risk of overheating. Regularly inspecting power boards for signs of wear, frayed wires, or scorch marks is crucial for early detection of potential issues, contributing to a safer electrical environment and minimising the risk of fire.

Quality matters

If you are investing in lights or other electrical displays, it pays to invest in high-quality lights from reputable retailers. Look for the approval mark from regulatory bodies, ensuring the lights meet safety standards. Inferior or damaged lights can overheat, increasing the risk of a fire. Check for frayed wires, broken sockets, or any signs of wear before decorating.

Keep indoor lights indoors

Differentiate between indoor and outdoor lights and use them accordingly. Outdoor lights are designed to withstand the elements, while indoor lights may not be as weather-resistant. Placing indoor lights outside can lead to electrical malfunctions and increase the risk of a fire.

Mindful placement

Carefully consider where you place your lights. Avoid placing them near flammable materials, such as curtains, paper decorations, or dried-out greenery. Ensure that lights are kept well away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, and heaters.

Limit extension cord usage

While it may be tempting to connect multiple extension cords to reach distant outlets, it’s crucial to use them sparingly. Overloading extension cords can lead to overheating and increase the risk of a fire. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the maximum wattage and number of connected lights.

Turn off when unattended

Save energy and reduce the risk of fire by turning off festive lights when you leave home or go to bed. Consider using timers to automate the process, ensuring your lights aren’t left on for extended periods.

Emergency preparedness

Always be prepared for emergencies. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and make sure everyone in your household knows how to use it. Have an evacuation plan in place and ensure that smoke detectors are functioning correctly.

By following these fire safety tips, you can enjoy a safe holiday season.  Prioritising safety when using  lights and electrical equipment protects your family, the community and your property.  A little extra time spent on fire safety now can save you from huge loss later down the track.

Do you need help or advice on fire safety for your commercial or residential property?  Contact our qualified team at Global Fire for all your fire safety needs on 1300 88 70 18 or email