It’s that time of year again. The Christmas tree is up and the decorations are out of the loft. All that’s needed now is a brand new set of Christmas lights – but how do you know if your lights meet the required safety standards?
In this article, we’ll give you some guidance on what to look out for when it comes to buying a new set of LED Christmas lights, so you can make sure your tree sparkles without the risk of sparks.
The dangers of Christmas lighting
Every year around 350 people are admitted to A&E as a result of an accident caused by Christmas tree lights. In recent years there has also been an increase in the number of reported accidents to Trading Standards concerning Christmas lights
A recent report by Electrical Safety First, a UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents, found that many Christmas lights bought from high street retailers and the internet did not have the correct safety symbols and safety information.
A sign of safety
When buying Christmas lights, there are certain safety symbols you should always check for, including:
The BSI Kitemark
When you see an electrical product with a Kitemark it means that the British Standards Institution has independently tested it, and has confirmed that the product conforms to the relevant British Standard.
The Kitemark is the symbol that gives consumers the assurance that the product they have bought really does conform to the appropriate British Standard and should therefore be safe and reliable.
The CE mark
The CE mark, together with the name and address of the supplier, is required by law to appear on all electrical products placed on the market in the European Union, to show that it passes all European standards.
CE marking on a product is mandatory. It proves it meets minimum legal requirements of the relevant Directive, which allows it to be placed legally on the market in any European member state.
Other things to consider
As well as checking your Christmas lights have the correct safety symbols, there are a few other precautions you can take when buying a new set of lights, including:
- Always buy your lights from a reputable retailer or website
- Try to avoid buying second-hand lights, unless you have them checked by a professional
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Inspect wiring and bulbs for any damage
- When replacing bulbs, always switch off lights first
- Take care not to damage lights when unpacking them
- Avoid storing lights in damp or excessively hot conditions
Ask the experts
We hope that you found this guide useful, and that you now feel confident buying Christmas lights that meet the correct safety standards. Remember, if you need any advice when it comes to LED lighting, the experts at Simple Lighting are always on hand.