Can Christmas Lights Cause a Fire?

Wednesday 25th October 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Lights on a Christmas tree

CONTENTS

Stringing up Christmas lights might make your home look cosy and festive, but they may also be a fire hazard. In the event they cause a fire to break out in your home, you must bring in fire damage cleaning professionals to restore it to its original, safe condition. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer our fire damage restoration services nationwide. Our fully qualified technicians can remove soot and ash, collect waste, and eliminate lingering smoke odours. In an emergency, they can be on site in several hours. 

Keep reading to find out whether Christmas lights are a fire hazard and what to do in the event of a fire. 

Are Christmas lights dangerous?

Christmas lights, particularly older models, can be a fire hazard. The main risk with Christmas lights is overheating. Incandescent bulbs generate more warmth than LED lights which could cause the insulation on wires to melt. This leads to exposed live wires which is a significant fire risk.

Broken bulbs can also cause sparks and expose the filament inside. If such an exposed filament comes into contact with flammable materials, like paper, fabric, or a Christmas tree, it could cause them to ignite.

Faulty wiring in old sets of lights poses a danger, too. Not only could it spark, but it could lead to electrocution if touched accidentally while plugging in or arranging the lights. Overloading electrical sockets with too many strands of lights increases chances for circuit failure which could cause a fire, as well.

Always use LED Christmas lights

To keep yourself and others safe, make the switch to LED Christmas lights. They are far safer than incandescent lights, and are more energy-efficient, too, meaning lower electricity bills. LED lights last longer, as well, so they don't need to be replaced as regularly. 

What to do if a fire occurs on your property

In the event that Christmas lights do cause a fire in your home, there are some crucial steps you need to follow to keep the residents of the property safe. First, evacuate all people from the building quickly. Once safe, call 999 immediately. While waiting for them, keep well away from the burning structure - fires can rapidly intensify or change direction without warning.

After the fire has been extinguished, it's important not to enter your property until professionals have confirmed it's safe due to potential structural damage and harmful smoke particles. You then need to contact your insurance company to begin the restoration process. Next, secure the property and find alternative accommodation while the fire damage cleaning takes place. 

You must leave fire damage clean up to professional cleaners. Cleaning after a house fire is a dangerous, difficult process that must be done thoroughly. For example, various toxins could linger in ash and soot which can cause health issues when inhaled or ingested accidentally. 

Our technicians will use specialised equipment designed specifically for cleaning up after fires – including HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers – which are not typically available to homeowners. We can give you peace of mind that no harmful residues have been left behind and the property is safe again.

Safety tips with Christmas lights

When it comes to lighting up your home for the festive season, safety should always be a top priority. Christmas tree lights are a fire hazard and need careful handling.

Firstly, make sure you use LED Christmas lights as they are a much safer option than incandescent bulbs. 

Before you start hanging your lights around the house or on the tree, check each set carefully for any signs of damage such as broken or cracked bulbs and frayed wires. Any damaged sets should be replaced immediately.

You should also never overload sockets. It may seem like an easy solution for powering all those twinkling strings of light, but it can lead to overheating and potential fire risks. Don't forget to switch them off overnight or when you are not in the property, too. 

Make sure you keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire, like curtains or other flammable materials. If you are using outdoor lights ensure they are specifically designed for exterior use; indoor ones are not made to withstand harsh weather conditions and could pose a risk if used outside. You can find more fire safety tips for using your Christmas decorations here

Contact us today

Our accredited team of technicians have many years of experience delivering our comprehensive fire damage cleaning services. They can take care of the entire aftermath of a fire, and are available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Get in touch with our friendly team on 0208 066 0360 or via enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to get a free site survey and no-obligation quote for our fire restoration services. 

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