Warning over Christmas lights

People should ensure their Christmas lights are safe after a spate of product recalls, warned an electrical industry group.

Master Electricians NSW state manager Jody McGann said homeowners should visit the Federal Government’s product safety recalls website (www.recalls.gov.au) to check if their lights had been deemed unsafe.

There have already been several product recalls for Christmas light sold at Woolworths, Big W and Masters Home Improvement.

Woolworths has issued a recall for the Christmas Collection Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Lights - a 6 metre connectable LED rope light because in some instances there may be exposed wiring.

Exposed wiring also led to Masters Home Improvement recalling both the Merry Christmas white LED Flashing Comet rope light and Merry Christmas white LED Flashing Star rope light.

Big W had to recall 16 varieties of Christmas LED rope lights this month due to concerns over wiring.

“There is a high risk of electric shock or fire should a defect in these recalled lights occur,’’ Ms McGann said.

‘‘Even reputable retailers have been forced to recall dangerous Christmas lights. Master Electricians is strongly urging all home owners to check on the recalls website before installing their Christmas lights regardless of where it is from.’’

When putting up Christmas lights, Ms McGann said there were other things people needed to be aware of to avoid injury - or worse.

‘‘Ensure the equipment you buy meets national safety standards,’’ she said.

‘‘Many decorative lights are manufactured outside of Australia where safety standards are lower, but an Australian Approval number indicates the product is safe to use here.

‘‘Also ensure you’ve bought extra low voltage lights that are designed for external use. Generally, these types of lights will have a transformer.’’

She also said that, even though outdoor connections should be weatherproof, it was advisable to turn off all outdoor lights during bad weather.

Both lights and cords need to be kept clear of powerlines, swimming pools, driveways, walkways and out of the reach of children.

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