This video shows how faulty Christmas lights can spark a massive fire in seconds

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning people to be careful with faulty Christmas lights over the festive season. A dramatic video by Gov.uk's Fire Kills campaign  shows the effects faulty lights can have on a dry tree and how it quickly spreads to the whole room.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s station Manager, Chris Barber said:

“Christmas is a special time of year and we want you to stay safe. We are saying: When decorating with Christmas lights, please ensure that you check them first by inspecting the cables and bulbs, do not use lights which are damaged, but if bulbs are blown, replace them. Do not place your Christmas tree too close to a heat source such as a portable heater, radiator or a fireplace. A live tree will dry out quickly and become easier to ignite by heat, flame or sparks. To help prevent this, keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.”

After 12 months packed away in a box, Christmas lights can easily become electrically unsafe. These are Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards advice to deck the halls in safety:

  • Only buy lights that carry the British Safety Kitemark or CE Safety Standard mark. Buy from a reputable shop, read and follow the manufacturers' instructions
  • Check your Christmas tree lights are in good condition and turn them off before you go to bed.
  • Use only replacement bulbs of the same type and rating as those originally supplied with the lights
  • Ensure all outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket
  • replace failed lamps immediately to prevent overheating
  • keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily
  • Don’t overload sockets and try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors

More advice on how to be safe at home here: http://www.365alive.co.uk/cms/content/home