String of party lights

Christmas & party lighting

Party lighting can create the perfect atmosphere for any celebration. However, it can also create a serious electrical hazard if used incorrectly. Always put safety first when you put 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
  • Cover extension cords that are lying across walkways
  • Make sure you fully unwind extension cords to avoid overheating
  • 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
  • Don’t piggyback plugs to install multiple sets of festive lights
  • Don’t lay extension cords across your driveway at any time.

Installing your festive lighting

  • Use the right types of lights, extension leads and powerboards 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 reduce 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 3m away
  • Wear non-slip footwear and safety equipment when 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 monitor your festive lighting as conditions change. You can look after your festive lighting installation by:

  • turning lighting off when you go out or to bed
  • turning lighting off when replacing bulbs, or if it’s raining
  • supervising children around the lighting always
  • packing and storing your lighting carefully, in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Want more information?

Download our electricity safety guide (PDF 1.8 mb) as a handy electrical safety reference.

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