Stay safe over the festive season

Christmas is just around the corner and some households may already be planning their outdoor illuminations!  

Alex Wallace, Safety Officer at Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) highlights a few simple precautions, which will help keep everyone safe when installing Christmas lights outside the home.

Alex says, “Before you start hanging lights or decorations outside your home, look up and identify any overhead power lines which may be coming into your home, affixed along the eves of your home or crossing your property.  Keep an eye out for any overhead power lines as you might not notice how close they are if you’re working at height.

“Electricity can jump gaps so, before starting work, look up and keep well away from any overhead power lines.  Overhead power lines regularly get mistaken for phone lines so keep at least five metres away from them if you’re not sure.

“If you are using a ladder to hang the lights make sure it is stable and that it will not come close to any overhead power lines when you are carrying or positioning it. It's also advisable to use worth  installing a Residual Current Device (RCD) at the socket outlet where your lights are connected, this provides safety protection in the event of a fault or damage to your lights.  Unplug your lights when you go to bed or leave the house, and have a safe and happy Christmas!"

For more advice about keeping safe when working safely near the electricity network visit or follow us on Twitter @NIElectricity or Facebook @NIENetworks.