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Sponsored Property Blog: The Christmas light fight: Safety first19th December 2013

In every neighbourhood across the UK there is always one house that goes a little crazy with Christmas lights every year In every neighbourhood across the UK there is always one house that goes a little crazy with Christmas lights every year, unless you live in a posh Islington property or similar.

You know the type of house - it’s notorious. It has an overwhelming amount of tacky Christmas lights in a mishmash of colours and flashing patterns that both assaults your senses and amazes at the same time. You’ll even go out of your way to walk or drive past it.

Children love it and adults wonder about the homeowner’s electricity bill; it is a hot topic every Christmas. But what happens when another home enters the competition for the most decorated house?

Well, across the pond in America, television giant ABC is setting families against each other in a national Christmas light competition to be aired on TV. The Great Christmas Light Fight will see 20 families fight for the chance to win the coveted title of most creative display and a hefty cash prize. Here in the UK, the home of the Christmas light, we can’t imagine TV bosses going for an idea like this.

The record for the most decorated house in the world goes to the Richards’ family home in Canberra, Australia, which this year is plastered in 502,165 lights. The work started in early October and uses 48km of wire to light up the home and garden. Any money raised from the thousands of expected visitors will go to a children’s charity.

Okay, so it is a little late in December now for you to try and beat this record for 2013 but if you are thinking of putting up a few subtle twinkling lights at the front of your property this winter, here are a few safety tips:

  • Make sure your lights are safe to use by checking the packaging for the appropriate safety marks, such as BS Kitemark.
  • Try to use modern mini lights over the larger traditional lamps. The new lights will not generate as much heat.
  • Check that the lights work before decorating. If you need to replace lamps make sure the string is disconnected from the power.
  • Make sure there is a fuse in the plug.
  • Check for any frayed wires or broken lamps.
  • Make sure to use outdoor lights outside and indoor lights for your tree inside.
  • Any lights placed outside should be fitted to a residual-current device to prevent injury by shocks.
  • Do not overload extension cables.
  • Hold lights in place with insulated holders. Never use nails or flammable materials to fix.
  • Turn off the lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Run cables along a wall so they aren’t a trip hazard.
  • Use correct ladder safety procedures when fitting lights to a roof.

If you are putting your hat in the ring for the Christmas light fight for 2013 follow these tips and the very best of luck.

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