Which? Consumer magazine have published a report on unsafe Christmas Lights purchased from popular online retailers:
“Buying affordable Christmas lights might feel like a prudent financial move at such an expensive time of year. But 10 of the 12 sets of Christmas lights we bought from AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish failed to meet the requirements of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations in our tests and legally shouldn’t be sold in the UK.
Two sets of lights in particular would be dangerous for anyone using them. And one set of lights bought from a seller on Wish was so badly made that it posed an electric shock risk to anyone using it and was a fire hazard.
Another bought through AliExpress presented an electric shock risk to users based on its very poor build quality. And eight further sets of lights, including two each from Amazon and eBay, failed basic compliance checks, making it illegal to sell them in the UK.
Only two sets of lights, one bought from Amazon and one from eBay, passed all of our tests and are legal to be sold and safe to use.”
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How to know if your Christmas lights are dangerous
- Check your lights aren’t damaged when unpacking your decorations.
- Look for things like loose wires, smashed bulbs or a broken control box.
- If your lights need replacement bulbs, make sure you use the same type when you replace them.
- Switch your lights off when you go out and when you go to bed.
- Keep your lights away from anything that can burn easily.
- If your lights look like they’ve seen better days, recycle them and buy a new set from an online or high street retailer you trust.
Please remember to report any scam to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.
If you have actually been the victim of a trader or scam such as the above and need help, or you require consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133