Firefighters urge community to be fire safe this festive season

Published: 17th December 2021

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging residents to be careful when decorating their homes this festive season to ensure the joy of Christmas doesn’t turn into tragedy.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said that as households put up their Christmas trees, lights and decorations, they should be mindful that overloading and failing to check power boards and power points were real fire safety risks.

“The use of decorative lights and candles, piggy-backing double adapters and using electrical cords and plugs which have been packed away for 12 months, all have the potential to cause a fire in the home,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“Checking lights and other decorations is a simple but effective way to prevent a household fire this festive season.

“It is also important indoor lighting and indoor power chords are not used outdoors as they are not waterproof and could cause fires or electrocution.”

Commissioner Baxter warned that synthetic Christmas trees can be highly flammable and to only use lights and decorations designed for Christmas trees.

“Too many NSW families have had their Christmas spoiled by a trip to the hospital because of accidents in the home that are easily preventable,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“We want NSW families to have a bright, happy and safe Christmas this year so we’re urging people to use their common sense when it comes to electrical safety.”


  • When setting up fairy lights and other electrical displays, use only one item per power socket and don’t overload power boards or piggyback double adaptors.
  • Only use decorative lights that have an Australian Standards label and follow manufacturer’s instructions on setting up and operating. Check before use and if wiring, cords, or plugs appear damaged or frayed, don’t use them
  • Switch off all electrical displays and decorative lights before going to bed.
  • Lights and candles can become hot so don’t place near paper trimmings, decorations or curtains and don’t leave burning candles unattended.
  • In case of an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).