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Think safety first this festive season

Residents in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale are being urged to keep safety front of mind when installing Christmas light displays this festive season. 

3 December 2018
out of focus christmas lights

Residents in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale are being urged to keep safety front of mind when installing Christmas light displays this festive season.   

Faulty lights or exposed wiring can present a safety hazard, as can makeshift structures that are not anchored to the ground.

Shire President Cr Michelle Rich said the Shire was home to some of Perth’s most eye-catching Christmas light displays, including several that annually raised thousands of dollars for WA charities. She encouraged anyone getting into the Christmas spirit by erecting light displays to conduct a basic safety check.

“Visiting Christmas light displays is one of the most exciting parts of the festive season, especially for families with young children,” Cr Rich said.

“It’s a time of the year we all look forward to, but it’s also worth remembering that decorations which are incorrectly installed or exposed to the elements carry a heightened risk of fire or electrical injury.

“Similarly, temporary structures used to hang lights or other decorations must be properly secured and mustn’t breach local planning laws. This is especially important if you’re opening your yard to members of the public as no one wants to see someone is injured while visiting a display.” 

With thousands expected to tour local Christmas displays this month, Cr Rich also reminded people to be respectful of nearby properties and to take extra care while on the road.

“We’re really just urging people to use their common sense when out and about visiting Christmas lights and to remember that others share the street,” she said.

“That means not obstructing driveways, parking on people’s verges or blocking things like median strips or fire hydrants. Drivers should also take extra care as there may be more foot traffic than normal on some streets. From our perspective, we just want make sure everyone has a happy and safe holidays, and we’d encourage people to get out in the community and have a look at some of the fantastic displays if they get the opportunity.”

Christmas safety tips from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale:

  • Carefully read and follow any manufacturer’s instructions on Christmas lights; 
  • Keep power boards and cords away from water and foot traffic, and ensure they’re not exposed to the elements; 
  • Never go near overhead power lines; 
  • Securely anchor any large or moveable objects; 
  • Do not erect any temporary structures that may be in breach of local planning laws;
  • Ensure a safe space for people to view your display if welcoming people onto your property; 
  • For those viewing displays by car, be respectful of other homes when parking and don’t obstruct driveways, verges fire hydrants footpaths and median strips; 
  • Stick to a sensible speed limit on local streets, especially if there is a larger than normal number of pedestrians and other vehicles on the road or verge.