Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world with a landmass of over 7.6 million square kilometres. Canberra is the country’s capital city, with other major metropolitan areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Australia’s population of over 26 million is as varied as its geography, stemming from the country’s strong affinity for multiculturalism since the 1970s. With a diverse mix of cultures, Australia has become a land of many traditions, one of which is the celebration of Christmas. And with Christmas just around the corner, it is time to bring out those Christmas lights in Australia. But before you do, take time to read the following safety tips when hanging Christmas lights.
Choose a Focal Point
When planning the layout of your Christmas lights, it is important to resist the urge to just wing it. One way to do this is by picking a focal point for your decoration. Once you do, take measurements of the space you want to decorate, including the distance from the power source. This will give you a general idea of how many strands of light to use.
Aside from the measurements, check the area for anything that may compromise your safety during and after the installation – plan in advance where you could anchor the lights safely. When installing lights outdoors, make sure that your gutters, shingles, or railings are sturdy. Use all-purpose light clips to make sure that your lights would not be damaged during the installation.
Prepare the Lights
Make sure that your Christmas lights are compliant with safety standards. Using non-compliant lights could lead to fires, shocks, or electrocutions. If you are using old lights, test them first before installing them. Replace busted bulbs and check the lead for any damages.
Also, check if there are any exposed wires or visible damages before using. If you see anything that may compromise the safety or functionality of the lights, have them checked by a licensed electrician or dispose of them safely.
Another thing to consider is if you are decorating inside the house or out. Make sure that you use indoor and outdoor lights only as intended by manufacturers. Christmas lights in Australia have an IP rating indicating their capacity to withstand weather conditions. Outdoor lights must have a rating of IP23. LED or ultra-low voltage solar powered lights are the safest options against overheating, fires, and electrocution.
Safety First When Installing
Consider your safety at all times during the installation. Make sure that you use a sturdy ladder with insulated holders when hanging lights in high places and steer clear of power lines. When using extension cords, see to it that they are neatly out of the way and would not cause trips and accidents, especially for areas with heavy foot traffic.
For outdoor installs, check that the outlet is rated appropriately. Avoid leaving it on the ground where snow and water can get to it. Also, avoid hanging Christmas lights over swimming pools and other wet areas. Similarly, do not run electrical leads where they can get snagged easily, such as driveways, doorways, and windows.
Christmas lights in Australia go through strict safety standards during manufacturing, but you should not leave them on overnight. If possible, connect them to a timer to make sure that they will not be left on even if you forget to turn them off.