Homeowners have been reminded to take extra care when carrying out DIY electrical work to install decorative lights for the festive season.
According to a study carried out in the US, almost a quarter of people rarely or never check whether their decorations have been tested and certified for safety.
CSA International, which carried out the research, pointed out that uncertified lights have the potential to cause serious injury or damage.
The group pointed to figures from the National Fire Protection Association, which show that 23 per cent of Christmas tree fires involve festive lights.
It offered some advice to those using indoor and outdoor lighting to decorate their homes this year.
As well as checking for safety certification, homeowners should also inspect light strings carefully and discarding any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.
Checking the packaging on new decorations is also advised to make sure products are not counterfeits. Inferior design, partial illustration misspellings and unclear print are all common signs that goods are fake and potentially faulty.
Posted by Barney Marshall