Connect with us:

Holiday Decorations: Preventing Fire and Electrical Hazards

Christmas is just around the corner and residents are lighting up their properties in celebration. While holiday decorating is all about adding fun, warmth and a bit of sparkle to a special time of year, residents need to be aware that they can also pose potential fire risks and electrical hazards if not used correctly. It’s important to take heed of the warning from Queensland State Coroner Terry Ryan’s recent findings into the deaths of celebrity chef Matt Golinski’s family. The 2011 house fire that killed Golinski’s wife and daughters was found to have been caused by an ignition from a power board or light source directly below the Christmas tree. Archers encourages everyone to keep safety in mind when hanging lights and decorating their properties this year. Below are some helpful tips on how to decorate safely and prevent fire and electrical hazards from occurring:

• If you are planning to decorate the exterior of your property, it’s important to seek clarification from your body corporate to make sure no by-laws are being breached and building safety is maintained. Certain decorations and lights will require approval from body corporates to avoid fire hazards and to ensure the safety of others
• Check you are not overloading power boards or creating excessive heat in confined areas particularly ensuring temporary lights are not touching curtains, carpet, paper or other combustible material. The safest solution is to turn off any powered decorations before you go to bed
• When decorating the exterior of your property, make sure to use lights and decorations that are rated for outdoor use. Putting indoor-only products outside can result in electric shock and fire hazards
• Check Christmas lights and cables to ensure they are secure and not faulty. Unsecured decorations have the potential to become a hazard in strong winds or summer storms
• Make sure decorations do not block walkways, emergency exit points and are not on common property
• Inspect and test smoke alarms to make sure they are in good working condition. Only working smoke alarms can provide the critical early warning needed to save lives and minimise property damage.

This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud – Partner, Archers the Strata Professionals


Leave a Reply