Decorative home interior lights are beautiful; but make sure they are electrically safe
Check electrical safety with a licensed electrician
Be safe at all times, especially when it comes to electricity. Decorative garden lighting or home lights can look fantastic BUT there are some electrical safety tips you should know when purchasing lights.
Check, check and check again. Check your light kit for approval numbers or a regulatory compliance mark. All major retailers, including Bunnings, will have this marking for quality products. Also ensure that you use low voltage lights with the supplied approved power supply unit (transformer). Before installing garden lights, feature outdoor lights or internal home lighting our licensed electricians will complete a electrical check to see that you have a working safety switch.
We often hear people say that they do their own electrical work. Please do not do this. As we have also heard many stories of people being injured or dying for trying to save a small amount of money by installing lighting and power on their own.
Never alter or modify the lighting. Our qualified and certified electrician on a job will ensure that all lights, extension leads and power boards are suitable for the intended use. Think about your Christmas lights being strung up and coupled with multiple leads (to reach around your home) and double adaptors etc. This is a situation to be avoided. Generally speaking, the use of double adaptors or piggy back plugs is not recommended. You should never use a damaged electrical lead. We would also check the pins of the supply plug to ensure that they are insulated and only use factory-made extension leads or those made by a licensed electrical contractor. One way to extend the life of your electrical lead is to unwind them completely to avoid overheating.
When installing decorative lighting and replacing lamps, ensure that the power is turned off and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. A great electrical safety tip is to avoid placing temporary decorative lighting above or around your pool. Water and electricity just don’t mix. Protect the decorative lighting and any electrical leads from potential damage from the elements or obstacles around the home. You should also avoid passing electrical leads through doorways and windows and keep all electrical leads clear of walkways and driveways.
If you have young children, keep decorative lighting out of the reach. As parents, we know how difficult this can be, especially with the Christmas tree. Perhaps create a little game with the children, by putting a barrier up around the tree (imaginary or real). And create a story about the Christmas tree being magical and untouchable! This may keep little hands away from potentially unsafe electrical wires or leads. Before turning on the Christmas lights (which have most likely been in a box for 11 months), check the leads and bulbs for damage.
Secure outdoor lights to avoid breakage in wind or storms. Always turn off outdoor decorative lighting in rainy or stormy weather and always turn off decorative lighting before going to bed (e.g. Christmas tree lights). All outdoor electrical connections must be weatherproof, we can determine this for you. Flood lights, halogen lights and other high powered lights can become very hot. Keep them out of reach and away from anything that might catch fire.
If your power points are not protected by a built-in safety switch, have a licensed electrical contractor like Nashcom Electrical (0438044257) install one, or connect decorative lighting through a portable safety switch. If you are using multiple sets of decorative lighting or high-powered lights (e.g. para-floods, flood lights or spotlights), plug them into a power board fitted with over-load protection. Be aware that using multiple high-powered lamps may overload your electric circuits.
As always; check with a local electrician regarding electrical safety.