Experts are warning residents across the region to be mindful of the dangers surrounding light displays.
Experts are warning residents across the region to be mindful of the dangers surrounding light displays.

The festive tradition which could destroy your home

RESIDENTS across Central Queensland are this week being cautioned on the possible fire risk dangers of both faulty and poorly installed Christmas light displays.

While a treat to the eyes for many, insurance experts have instead warned of the grim reality faced by many homeowners and tenants should things go awry.

Sure Insurance managing director Bradley Heath said lights, decorations and novelties were often set-up in either late November or early December.

"We know many Rockhampton and CQ householders go to extreme lengths with external and internal Christmas lights."

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Insurance experts suggest close monitoring of displays when switched on. Pics: Bill Hearne
Insurance experts suggest close monitoring of displays when switched on. Pics: Bill Hearne

He highlighted several preventive measures for indoors displays to help minimise the risk of disasters occurring - including buying lights which meet Australian safety standards.

"Householders should inspect lights for any visible signs of damage to cords or plugs as damage may have occurred to lighting while stored over the past year," he said.

"Don't leave lights on for prolonged periods of time or while you are away from the home or when you go to bed, and do not attempt to rearrange the lights when turned on.

"Be aware Christmas lights generate high-levels of heat and should not be positioned next to paper or other flammable decorations or household fittings such as curtains."

 

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Families are urged to exercise caution when installing Christmas light displays. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Families are urged to exercise caution when installing Christmas light displays. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Safety measures were just important for outdoor light displays, added Mr Heath.

"If you wish to decorate the outside of your home, ensure you check the lights are designed for exterior use and follow all installation and safety instructions.

"Under no circumstances should indoor decorative lights be used outside."

Piggybacking or overloading power boards is also a big no-no - with one item per socket to be used.

"We're reminding [residents] to think about home fire safety as many [people] underestimate the fire danger of faulty electrical decorations."