Christmas and party lighting

Hanging the right party lighting can create the perfect atmosphere for your celebration. It can also create a serious electrical hazard if you use it incorrectly. Always put safety first when putting up Christmas and party lighting at your home or business.

To stay safe while you enjoy the festivities, follow these tips below.

Before you start

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Check that your lights are compliant with Australian Standards. Look for an approval number starting with either Q, V, N, NSW or S, followed by a five digit number or a regulatory compliance mark logo
  • Check all lighting, extension cords and power boards for damage or wear and tear.

Connecting to power safely

  • Use powerboards fitted with overload protection, not double adapters
  • Never piggyback plugs to install multiple sets of festive lights
  • Use only ready-made extension cords, or have them made by a licensed electrical contractor
  • Don’t use cords that have damaged insulation or exposed wires
  • Don’t expose joins in extension cords to the weather
  • Cover extension cords that are lying across walkways
  • Don’t lay extension cords across your driveway at any time
  • Make sure you fully unwind extension cords to avoid overheating.

Installing your festive lighting

  • Use only lights, extension leads and powerboards that are suitable for your project
  • Check that any outdoor connections are weatherproof and are suitable for outdoor use
  • Don't pass electrical leads through doors and windows
  • Secure your lights to minimise the risk of breakage in wind or storms
  • Use extra-low voltage equipment when attaching lights to fences, metalwork, roofs and downpipes
  • Avoid placing temporary festive lighting above or around your pool
  • Keep yourself and your lights well clear of overhead powerlines - at least 3 metres away
  • Wear non-slip footwear and safety equipment when climbing ladders and installing lights on the roof and other hard-to-reach places.

Using your festive lighting

Once it’s safely installed, you’ll still need to keep an eye on your festive lighting in case conditions change. You can look after your festive lighting installation by:

  • Turning your lighting off when you go out or to bed
  • Turning your lighting off when you need to replace bulbs, or if it’s raining
  • Supervising children around your festive or Christmas lights at all times
  • Packing and storing your lighting carefully, paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Want more information?

Download our electricity safety guide (PDF 2.2 mb) as a handy electrical safety reference.

For more on electrical safety, visit the Electrical Safety Office website.