Ergon has warned people to check their electric Christmas decorations … these exposed 240v wires could have provided a deadly shock (Photo: Ergon)

November 14, 2018

Ergon has warned that house fires, electric shocks and worse could occur from buying dodgy Christmas lights online.

The corporation issued the alert after electrical crews were called to a regional Queensland home recently when newly purchased Christmas lights with exposed and potentially deadly 240 volt wires shocked the owner.

Chris Rose, from Ergon Energy’s safety team, said the lights had been bought online and arrived at the purchaser’s door in a faulty state.

They could have easily created a more serious safety risk if they had gone undetected.

“This time of year there will be plenty of people looking online for powered Christmas decorations, but please remember the serious safety risks faulty or poor-quality lights can pose far outweigh the savings,” Mr Rose said.

“Ergon and Energex crews go to more 2200 electrical shock callouts a year, and these Christmas lights had one of the most dangerous faults they’d ever seen.

“If these dodgy Christmas lights had gone unnoticed the outcome could have been completely different, potentially taking someone’s life or starting a house fire.

“This is why we always urge people, for their safety and that of their loved ones, to only purchase electrical Christmas decorations from reputable retailers and ensure they comply with Australian Safety Standards.”

Mr Rose said it wasn’t just new Christmas lights that could cause safety risks for homeowners – all existing lights should be checked before installing them.

“For most of the year Christmas lights and powered decorations are stored unnoticed in cupboards and sheds where they can easily be damaged or chewed on by pests,” he said.

“So before any lights or decorations are plugged in, they should always be checked for faults like exposed wires and broken bulbs.

“By taking the time to check for faults we can give everyone the opportunity to have a safe Christmas.”

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