Here’s a few ways to make sure your display doesn’t hurt you or your property.
1. Electrical essentials
Make sure the switchboard of your home is fitted with a safety switch, technically called an RCD or Residual Current Device. If there is an imbalance in the electrical current, which happens when a cord is broken, the switch cuts off the power in milliseconds preventing electrocution. If you don’t have a safety switch on your house, you’ll need an electrician to install one.
2. Get the right lights
Make sure you use low voltage lighting that is suitable for outdoors. Don’t be tempted to use that old set of lights you had draped around the tree last year! Check the power cords that connect the transformer to 240V power for any exposed wiring.
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3. Ladder safety
Hanging lights around your home usually means climbing up a ladder. As falls from ladders are the biggest source of injuries at home, it pays to take special care. Make sure it’s sitting squarely on the ground, with no wobbles. If you can, have someone at the base of the ladder to hold it while you’re up there. Never over-reach as you could lose your balance. Take a few seconds to climb down and reposition it closer to where you are trying to reach.
For more info on ladder safety, visit Product Safety Australia.
4. Garden lights
Running lights through your garden is a great way to extend your display. Make sure you keep any extension leads away from paths or foot traffic areas where they can become a trip hazard. Don’t run them across lawns either. They’re really hard to see in the long grass when you’re mowing.
5. Power point basics
Obviously with lots of lights you’re going to need more power points. Don’t be tempted to piggy back double adaptors for the extra points you’ll need - use power boards as they are safer. Keep them undercover and out of reach of children. If you do have to make 240V connections in the weather, put them in an outdoor safety box.