Christmas lights: Here's how one broken bulb can become a major hazard

Most of us are slowly getting the Christmas decorations out of the cellar again, including Christmas lights. We'll tell you under what circumstances they can be dangerous.

Christmas light fire hazard caution
© Thalia Ruiz / Unsplash
Christmas light fire hazard caution

Last year, the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfecalled for people to do without fairy lights. The reason given was the allegedly high power consumption. However, the typical Christmas decorations can cause completely different problems.

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Fairy lights: beware of electric shock or fire

Many households are already getting into the Christmas spirit (the weather in some places is certainly helping). However, if you want to decorate your window frames with fairy lights, you should be careful.

For example, Merkur explicitly warns against the use of older fairy lights with light bulbs. These are particularly dangerous if one of the bulbs is broken. Hermann Dinkler, who works for TÜV, explains this in Merkur as follows:

A burnt-out light bulb can cause an electric shock on contact or cause other light bulbs to become very hot due to the change in resistance and ignite flammable materials.

Look for seals when buying

Heidelberg24 points out that the use of multiple sockets for all the lamp chains can also be problematic under certain circumstances. There is a particular safety risk if a multiple socket is extended with other multiple sockets.

If you want to be on the safe side, you should follow the advice from BR24. In an article on fairy lights, they recommend using LED fairy lights in particular, as the risk of overheating, for example, is much lower.

Consumers should also pay attention to certain indoor features (the VDE test mark and a seal) and, last but not least, always check whether the fairy lights are only intended for indoor use or can also be used outdoors.

Read more:

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This article has been translated from Gentside DE.

Sources used:

Merkur: Brandgefahr: Kaputte Glühbirne in Lichterkette austauschen

Heidelberg24: Lichterketten im Herbst und Winter – so schnell können sie zur Gefahr werden

BR24: Lichterketten: Darauf sollte man beim Kauf achten

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