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Use Lights To Delight This Christmas

Use Lights To Delight This Christmas

AUCKLAND, 28 November: It’s that time of year again, when Christmas decorations come out of the box and onto the streets as New Zealanders adopt the northern hemisphere tradition of decorating their homes with strings of sparkling Christmas lights to mark the festive season.

Last year Kiwis purchased around one million sets of Christmas lights to decorate their homes, but turning the outside of your house into a Christmas wonderland can be dangerous if not done properly.

The Warehouse is encouraging families to decorate their homes creatively and responsibly this Christmas through its ‘Light Up Your Home’ competition (entries close 13 December) which is searching for the best decorated home in the country.

To help New Zealanders tackle outdoor Christmas lighting safely this festive season, The Warehouse brings you these important safety tips.

- When selecting lights, extension cords or outside decorations, check the packaging to ensure the item is approved for outdoor use. Do not use any item outdoors unless it is specifically designed and labelled for exterior use.

- Do your maintenance. Before you hang the lights, take the time to check the bulbs, sockets, light cords and extension cords for nicks, cuts, broken insulation or exposed wires. Do a test by putting the lights on a non-flammable surface (a concrete driveway is good) and plugging them in for 10-15 minutes. Watch for any sign of melting, smoking or overheating. Replace any damaged lights or cords before hanging.

- If bulbs need replacing, be sure to use the same voltage and wattage. The wrong bulbs may overheat and start a fire. Always switch off and unplug the lights before replacing bulbs.

- Keep decorations and ladders away from overhead electrical lights and power lines.

- Make sure light strings and extension cords are fully unwound to avoid overheating and the risk of fire.

- The New Zealand Fire Service recommends that outdoor lights should be connected to a residual current device (RCD) or an isolating transformer. RCDs will automatically cut the power to the lights in the event of an accident or shortage, preventing electric shocks. These are available at The Warehouse for $29.99.

Remember to have fun, but stay safe this Christmas season. To enter the ‘Light Up Your Home’ competition simply purchase any set of Christmas lights from The Warehouse to receive an entry form, and follow the simple instructions. You could win $5,000 to spend at The Warehouse or one of four runner-up prizes worth $500.

ENDS

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