Oxford Street's famous Christmas Lights display in London will be switched on tomorrow!

This is the 60th year of the iconic lights, but don’t worry, they’re not using bulbs from the 1960s… in fact, the technology is brand new this year, and the street will be dazzlingly illuminated with energy-efficient Christmas lights.

Not everyone has the luxury of brand-new Christmas lights, however, and the British Standards Institution (BSI) has released advice to ensure your switch-on doesn’t fizzle out...  

When digging your Christmas lights out of storage...

1. Check the condition of the cable insulation for nicks and tears. If there's exposed wire, there could be a risk of electrical shock.

2. Check the fuse bulb - this will be a different color to the other bulbs in the set. Only use replacement fuse bulbs from the product you purchased to make sure it's the same as the others, to avoid overheating. Remember, LED-style christmas lights cannot be replaced, so if the bulbs are out, you'll need to buy a new set.

3. Do not change the plug top on your lights - if it has a large plug top to reduce the voltage from the mains, it must not be replaced for a smaller one or you could risk overheating.

When buying new lights... An electrician fitting Christmas lights

1. Look for certification and safety marks - that way you'll know they meet safety and performance requirements. Look for a CE mark as minimum requirement for Europe, or look for the BSI Kitemark, which signals even more comprehensive quality checks.

2. Avoid second-hand lights - they may well have been tested a long time ago.

When putting your lights up...

1. Don't use indoor lights outdoors. Check the warning notice on the label of the product as this will tell you the limitations.

2. Don't overload extension leads. Check the current rating marked on the extension lead and don't exceed that. And avoid connecting extension leads to extension leads.

For more information please visit https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/

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