colorful lights decorating the night city

Decorating Your Tree Safely This Christmas

As the old song goes, Christmas “is a wonderful time of the year”…………..

The days of decorating a small plastic tree in the lounge room are long gone, and decorating a home for Christmas could sometimes be compared to a military operation.  The living areas are often adorned with lights, tinsel and a few Santa’s in an explosion of colour, which then leads us to the outside of the home and the focus of our blog today!

Decorating the outside of homes lights and everything Christmas has almost become a national pastime.  In particular, lighting up trees, scrubs and gardens is a particular favourite.  Let’s face it, seeing large trees bursting with lights and colour is an amazing site.  However, joy can turn to disaster very quickly if proper safety procedures aren’t followed.

So, in the spirit of the season, Total Tree Services and our senior Arborist Jamie Nairn have a few important tips to keep you safe whilst adding to the colour of Christmas.

  • Only use properly manufactured ‘outdoor’ lights on your trees and garden.  They are designed to be weather proof to avoid the danger of electrocution or fire.  Lights that catch fire risk setting the whole tree alight, and that could place homes and people at risk.
  • Total Tree Services strongly recommends that you only purchase Christmas lights that are approved and compliant with Australian Standards, and avoid cheap non-compliant systems purchased over the net.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights have what’s known as an IP rating which shows how weatherproof the light is.  As a simple test, the higher the number, the better its weatherproof rating.  Outdoor equipment must have an IP rating of least IP23.  (Ref:
  • Only use outdoor rated extension cords and use waterproof cases when joining cords.
  • Never use nails or similar products to secure the lights to trees as the wiring could become damaged.
  • Make sure all control boxes and power switches are kept away from children.
  • To avoid overheating and potential fire danger, switch off all lights before going to bed.

The Queensland Government has a comprehensive website containing Christmas light safety information.  Check it out at

Total Tree Services welcomes enquiries on tree management strategies and can develop an appropriate plan to fit your circumstances.  Fair pricing, quality services, and with a strong safety focus is the mark of Total Tree Services.

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