I hate to use the C word in October, but the Electrical Safety Council is forcing me to by giving out great electrical safety advice on dangerous Christmas Lights.

Christmas Lights

The ESC, a charity focused on enhancing electrical safety and awareness across Britain, has created a useful PDF that outlines the potential hidden dangers of Christmas lights. The guide contains advice on what type of lights you should buy, the kind of things you should look out for when buying and a useful checklist of do’s and don’ts.

The guide particularly warns of the importance of checking the ratings of lights, particularly if you intend to jazz up your house with a fancy Christmas display. Certain lights aren’t rated for use outdoors and could be extremely dangerous if they are, so make sure you consult the ESC’s guide on what to look out for before adorning your house with merry Christmas cheer.

It’s recommended that anybody planning to use Christmas lights – that’s probably everyone who is not the Grinch – prints off the ESC’s free guide and leaves it packed together with your Christmas lights so it’s always there for your reference when you drag the lights down from the loft every year.

While you’re fighting to untangle the lights, which seem to have wrestled themselves inexplicably into the most complex knot ever despite being in a box untouched for the past year, make sure you check them over for obvious signs of damage. If the lights look unsafe, don’t use them, and instead buy in a replacement.

Of course Christmas light safety isn't the only thing you should focus on. We also recommend regularly checking your household appliances for obvious signs of damage, as well as assessing whether things such as plug sockets are actually safe for usage as well. Electrical safety isn't a joke, and we advise every one of our readers to take the utmost care this Christmas with electricity and have a safe time over the festive period.

For more information on the safety of Christmas lights, please visit the ESC’s guide, print it off and keep it bundled together with your lights for easy reference.