It’s officially Christmas season! Orchard Road and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are now decked in over-the-top festive lights and decor. Soon, you’ll be putting up your Christmas trees, home decor and accessories too.
If LED lights, fairy lights, or any sort of decorative lightings is in your Christmas decor checklist, this article is for you.
With the advent of Taobao shopping, electric-powered bikes, PMDs, we’ve seen an increase in electrical home fires in the news. If you’re shopping online for your Christmas tree and decorations this year, listen up to these Christmas lights installation safety pointers.
HDB Electrical Voltage – Power Sockets
In Singapore, most of our HDB flats are powered with electricity main power sockets for 40 amp, 230 volts.
Don’t be frightened by the amps and volts. It’s not that scary.
In layman terms, volt (short for voltage) refers to the difference in electricity pressure within the battery. If you have higher voltage (higher pressure), electrons can be potentially be pushed through the circuit with a much larger force.
However, the potential of electricity doesn’t matter unless the electricity can flow – and that’s called current.
That’s where the amp comes in. Amp (short for amperage) measures how much electricity can flow through the wires at any given time – in other words, how strong the electricity current is. Yes, that also means if your amperage is higher, you’ll get faster charging – provided that your voltage is high enough too.
Now that you understand that Singapore’s electricity voltage is 230 volts and 13 amp, be cautious when using Made in China Christmas lights since their amperage may differ. Also, the physical parts used in the cables may be subpar and more risky of wear and tear and electrical fires. Even if you are buying from online, be sure buy those with Singapore’s Electrical Safety Marks.
Singapore Electrical Safety Mark
Before buying the lights, pay attention to its safety aspects. Ensure that the decorative incandescent lighting bears this safety mark. At the bottom of the safety mark should be a unique eight-digit registration number that’s tied to the specific product model.
If it’s a fake logo, you can quite easily spot it by comparing the registration numbers across other product models.
Another way to be certain is to check that you find two safety marks – one on the three-pin plug, and another safety mark on the product’s body itself.
Finally, you can go to this Register of Registered Controlled Goods website to search up the safety mark serial number.
This safety mark tells you that the product has been tested against:
- Electric Shock
They are also in line with Singapore’s safety standards.
Decorative incandescent lighting is among 33 categories of household products that are deemed “Controlled Goods”, and must be registered with the local enterprise development agency, SPRING Singapore.
Check if your Christmas lights have been recalled before
Afterwards, you should also check that your lighting has not been part of a product recall. You can find out if it has been recalled in Singapore via the Consumer Product Safety government site.
Untangle All Wire Cables To Avoid Overheating
Do you leave your cables in a twirled, curly wurly mess? It’s about time you untangle them and coil them properly – for good reason.
Tangled wires and cables can overheat, causing the core of the cable to trap excessive heat and may trigger fires.
Also, if you don’t regularly untangle your wires and cables and check on them, wear and tear, damages, cuts, and corrosion can occur over time, causing electrical fires as well.
Most electrical fires are caused by old electrical appliances. So, do move your television and audio sets, your LAN cables, modems around once in a while to clean them up, re-coil them, and check on their health.
Check All Electronic Christmas Decor Parts, Lamps, Lights
This Christmas, you’d probably received your fairy lights in a messy tangle as well. Do make time out to uncoil them and check on the physical integrity of the cables before plugging them into your socket.
Here’s a checklist of Christmas electronics to check:
- Inspect plug and lamp holders for exposed wires or obvious damage
- Follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions and safety warnings
- Ensure all lights and extensions are used for what they are intended for
- Do not alter or modify any lighting equipment. For example, do not overload lighting chains.
- Test your lights before coiling them around the Christmas tree
- Make sure the decoration light chains are kept a safe distance away from flammable objects.
Christmas Tree Lights: Daily Safety Precautions
Other daily safety precautions to keep in mind throughout the month-long Christmas and New Year’s festive celebrations include:
- Make sure the power socket is switched off when putting your Christmas lights up or changing light bulbs
- Turn off all the lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. You don’t want the lights to start a fire if there is a short circuit.
- Avoid using indoor lighting outside your house because the wires may not be insulated to withstand wet or windy weather. This may result in fires, electric shocks, or injuries.
Finally, do not use indoor fairy lights or decorative lights outside your house door, or hang them outdoors. Most of these indoor wires may not be insulated to withstand wet or windy weather. This may result in electrical fires, electric shocks, or injuries when it starts raining.