Christmas lights bought from online sellers could be fire risk

Christmas Lights

Beware of buying Christmas tree lights from online marketplaces – you could be purchasing a fire hazard, says consumer group Which?

Six out of 13 sets of lights bought by Which? from online marketplace sellers failed a safety test.

Two of them got so hot during testing that they began to melt, while others could potentially cause electric shocks, Which? said.

The consumer group advised shoppers to buy from recognised retailers.

It also bought two sets of lights from High Street shops, which passed the safety tests.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “Many of the cheap and seemingly cheerful Christmas lights we’ve tested from online marketplaces simply aren’t safe, and we’ve found some even have the potential to set a tree alight.”

Which? urged the new government to make safety a priority and place legal responsibility on marketplaces to prevent unsafe products from being sold on their sites.

National Trading Standards also advised consumers to be careful about where they purchased electrical items.

“It is better to spend a bit more and get them from a reputable trader, than to buy something which could be unsafe and potential cause a fire or electrocution,” it said.

Currently, anyone importing an item in order to supply a customer in the UK is legally responsible for ensuring it complies with safety regulations, and could face prosecution for failure to do so, National Trading Standards said.