Christmas light safety: dos and don’ts

We don't often think about Christmas light safety when preparing our homes for the festive season – so we've covered the basics

christmas light safety
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Christmas lighting is something that's often over-looked as we prepare for the festive season. After all, thinking about what could go wrong is usually the last thing on our minds as we dance around the living room, mulled wine in hand, liberally decorating the Christmas tree. But, it is important.

So, we've put together a handy guide which covers everything you should think about when lighting up your home this Christmas. Have a quick read to ensure you stay safe this festive season.

Christmas light safety dos 

  • Check for safety marks such as the BS Kitemark when buying lights.
  • Read the instructions and check that the right rating of fuse is installed.
  • Choose energy saving LEDs, which emit less heat and cost less to use.
  • Replace failed bulbs straight away to avoid overheating and use the same type and rating as the originals.
  • Switch lights off when you go out or go to bed.
  • Make sure outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket.
  • Use a surge-proof plug adaptor.
  • Consider battery operated sets of lights in indoor areas where a socket is not nearby. This prevents trailing wires across the room.
  • Touch the wires every so often to check for overheating.
  • If you are using a Christmas tree stand with water reservoir, don’t let the wires trail into the water.
  • Consider investing in the best smart plug – this will allow you to control your Christmas tree lights without having to commando crawl underneath the tree every time you want to turn them on and off. Genius.

Christmas lighting safety: fairy lights in glass jar

(Image credit: B&Q)

Christmas light safety dont's

  • Use lights that are damaged.
  • Replace bulbs when the lights are connected to the mains.
  • Plug adaptors into one another as you risk overloading the socket.
  • Use indoor lights outside (outdoor lights must have the correct IP rating and be specifically designed for outdoor use).
  • Don’t run cables across escape routes or thoroughfares.
  • Hang external lights in wet or windy weather.
  • Put lights on flammable decorations or materials.

Looking for Christmas lighting inspiration?

Lindsey Davis
Lindsey Davis

Lindsey is Associate Editor of and has been working on our home interest websites for six years. When she isn't reviewing products for our buying guides, or searching for the best Black Friday bargains, she can be found rearranging her furniture or cooking something new. She aspires to build her own home, but for now is busy tackling the ever-growing list of projects in her Victorian cottage.