Christmas lights safety warning

9 December 2020

Ausgrid has issued a holiday safety warning to residents after crews discovered a potentially life-threatening Christmas lights display over the weekend.

An Ausgrid field team spotted the display on the Central Coast which included lights strung below live powerlines above a residential street and attached to a power pole.

Ausgrid General Manager Field Operations Sam Sofi said it was an incredibly dangerous situation which could have been life threatening.

“I was horrified when I was shown the photos of the display. Someone would have needed to climb a ladder very close to powerlines to install these lights and it was sheer luck we didn’t see a fatality,” Mr Sofi said.

“There are no second chances with electricity. Physical contact with, or even close proximity to live equipment can cause an electric shock which may result in serious injury or death.”

Ausgrid is urging all residents to follow some basic steps to ensure their Christmas lights are safe.

“We know it’s been a tough year and people want to celebrate Christmas with lights displays but our number one priority is the safety of the community and the last thing we want to see is anyone being injured or worse,” Mr Sofi said.

“Never attach lights or decorations directly to or close to any electrical equipment, including powerlines, power poles or the service wires which run between your property and poles in the street as they are carrying live electricity.”  

An Ausgrid crew attended the street to safely remove the lights and discuss the safety dangers with the residents.

Ausgrid’s top Christmas safety tips:

Closely inspect Christmas display power cords and bulbs before turning on the lights.
Never attach lights or decorations to any electrical equipment, including power lines, power poles or the service wires running from street poles to your home.
Only use “outdoor display” lights outside and use tape, cable ties or clamps instead of nails to fix them into place.
Check your smoke detectors are working and ensure you have a safety switch in your meter box.
Unravel any coiled power cords to prevent them over-heating.
Don’t overload powerpoints or power boards by piggy-backing double adaptors.
Turn off and unplug your outdoor Christmas lights when it rains, when you leave home and when heading to bed.

 More Christmas safety advice can be found on our website at: